A new manufacturing process allows hybrid-electric vehicle manufacturers to replace current steel designs with quieter, lighter, low-emission plastic tanks, pushing plastic into a market space that it previously couldn't serve. TI Automotive says the product is made possible by its Tank Advanced Process Technology (TAPT), which is based on traditional blowmolding, but with several tooling enhancements.
After the parison drops down into the mold, it is initially shaped with air pressure without fully closing the two mold halves and is then cut along the parting line. This allows a robot to then insert key fuel-system components, like structural rib sections, slosh baffles, and additional plastic for noise reduction and increased structural integrity. The mold then fully closes and final air pressure is applied to form the plastic fuel tank's final shape....