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Super-Light Steel High-Pressure Vessels


Development of the Novel Technological Scheme of Manufacturing Super-Light Steel High-Pressure Vessels

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-COM/Composites/Materials
  • MAN-MAT/Engineering Materials/Manufacturing Technology

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
MISIS (Steel and Alloys), Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • State Enterprise Krasnaya Zvezda, Russia, Moscow


  • Midland Metals International Inc., Canada, ON, Toronto

Project summary

High-pressure (19.6 MPa and higher) steel cylinders are intended primarily for storing compressed natural gas (methane), the use of which as motor fuel has good chances to put competitive pressure on traditional petrol and diesel fuels due to its lower cost. Stimulated by more and more rigorous requirements to the ecology of transport and the growing oil prices, world leading automobile concerns invest billions of dollars in the development of technologies to use compressed gas in automobile transport. However, the wide use of compressed gas requires mass production of cheap and reliable high-pressure cylinders. The other, no less important, application of vessels with compressed natural gas is the use of methane for household needs in areas without centralized gas supplies (for gas stoves, heaters and warmers).

By the currently existing technologies of steel cylinder manufacture, the weight perfection coefficient M/V (the ratio of cylinder weight in kg to volume in litres) for cylinders from carbon steel is 1.6–1.8 and from alloy steel of the type of 30KhMA, 1.0–1.2. Their cost is no less than 3.5 US dollars per 1 litre; metal-composite cylinders with aluminium liners cost about 9 US dollars per 1 litre at M/V 0.65.

The proposed process flow chart enables manufacture of cheap steel cylinders, which are more safe and durable in operation, from alloy steel with M/V 0.7, and from carbon steel with M/V 1.0.

Preliminary feasibility studies have shown that the costs of ultra lightweight steel cylinders from steel 30KhMA would not be outside the limit of 3.5 US dollars per 1 litre and 2.5 US dollars per 1 litre for cylinders from carbon steel.

The proposed project is realized using two deep draw presses with force 3 and 4 MH and stroke 1250 and 1800 mm, respectively; three fast-speed hydraulic presses with force 10 MH each, two of which were manufactured by the technical specifications developed by the responsible party. This equipment is used to develop the technologies of stamping with rolling, which makes it possible to decrease the required forces many times and to cold form even hardened steels with deformations up to 60%. Besides, manipulators for handling semi-finished products (cylinders) in the working space of vertical and horizontal presses were designed and fabricated.

The units and mechanisms of the major technological special-purpose equipment for realizing the process of stamping with rolling were subjected to long-term tests to ensure that the equipment is sufficiently reliable.

Integrated resource-saving technologies using stamping with rolling shall enable the cost efficiency of production from 30 up to 50% compared with the current prices for steel cylinders within the range of 3.5 US dollars per 1 litre for alloy steels and 2.5 US dollars per 1 litre for cylinders from carbon steels.

The proposed process flow charts are intended to be used for manufacturing all-metal ultra lightweight and reduced-weight steel cylinders 35, 50 and 80 litres in capacity with working pressures of 19.6 and 24.5 MPa, for automobile transport, for household purposes, for storage and transportation of compressed natural gas.


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