TI Automotive Demonstrates First-Ever Integrated Slosh and Pressurized Plastic Fuel Tanks for Hybrid-Electric Vehicles

By Ti Automotive, PRNE
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan, March 3, 2011 - — Innovative new technology allows hybrid-electric vehicles to replace
current steel tank designs with quiet, lightweight, low-emission plastic fuel

— Unique manufacturing process allows for flexible design options of
integrating features internally in the plastic fuel tank shape.

TI Automotive - a global supplier of automotive fluid storage, carrying
and delivery technology - showcased its innovative new slosh and pressurized
plastic fuel tanks for hybrid-electric vehicles at the ITB Automotive Energy
Storage and Fuel Systems 2011 Conference today in Novi, Mich.

The first-of-its-kind technology, developed through an enabling
manufacturing process called "Tank Advanced Process Technology" (TAPT),
allows hybrid-electric vehicle manufacturers to replace current steel designs
with quiet, lightweight, low-emission plastic tanks.

"The unique powertrain operating and vapor purge cycle of hybrid-electric
vehicles can create an increased amount of vapor pressure within the fuel
tank. In addition, because hybrid electric vehicles are so quiet in the full
electric mode, fuel slosh noise is more recognized by the passengers," said
Al Deane, Chief Technology Officer, TI Automotive. "With TAPT, we can create
complex plastic fuel tank shapes and sizes that can handle the pressure and
noise concerns."

The TAPT process is based on traditional blow-molding technology, but
with several tooling enhancements. After the plastic parison enters the mold,
it is initially shaped with air pressure without fully closing the two mold
halves, then cut along the parting line. This allows a robot to then insert
key components of the fuel system, such as structural rib sections, slosh
baffles and/or additional plastic parison material that can enable noise
reduction and increase structural integrity. The mold then fully closes and
final air pressure is applied to develop the complex shape of the plastic
fuel tank.

During the ITB Conference, Albert Boecker, Advanced Technology Director
of Fluid Storage Systems at TI Automotive, presented the design and
manufacturing advantages, along with process developments for pressurized
plastic fuel tanks. Process videos and actual samples were displayed at the
conference. The TAPT process enters production in 2012. TI Automotive
currently has been awarded development contracts for one European and two
Asian automakers for HEV pressurized fuel tanks.

"The TAPT process has limitless potential," Boecker said. "It was
previously thought that a plastic tank could not support the needs of the
hybrid-electric vehicle manufacturers. We now have proven a viable design
exists and there are many more possible solutions for future vehicle and
alternative powertrain system needs."

About TI Automotive

Fluid thinking(TM) shapes the mindset of TI Automotive. Global automotive
manufacturers turn to TI Automotive for insight and focus to develop
industry-changing fluid storage, transfer and delivery technology.

With 16,500 employees at 130 locations in 28 countries, our strength lies
in our ability to creatively meet and exceed the increasing fuel-economy and
emissions regulations of tomorrow's auto industry.

Frank Buscemi, The Quell Group, +1-248-519-2054, fbuscemi at quell.com

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