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Steelhead Composites
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  • Offer Profile
  • Steelhead Composites is a world class advanced pressure vessel manufacturing company, based in the heart of Golden Colorado (USA). Steelhead is dedicated to the manufacturing of lightweight, high-strength vessels to be used for weight-sensitive energy and fuel storage applications. Our specialties include lightweight bladder accumulators, mobile CNG fuel storage and transport, gas bottles, aluminum liners and accessories.

    We also offer a full array of technical services in vessel design, metal spinforming, filament winding, prototyping and testing of custom high pressure vessel products.
Product Portfolio
  • Accumulators

      • Powermax Series – High Pressure Composite Accumulators

      • Steelhead Composites Powermax series bladder accumulators are designed to provide maximum power density within a given envelope space for mobile applications. Because of a lightweight yet robust structural design made from carbon fiber composite, these composite accumulators are a clear choice against heavy steel accumulators for power intensive and weight-restricted applications such as hydraulic hybrid vehicles and heavy duty off-road vehicles.

        Powermax series accumulators have an inside diameter of 10 in. (254 mm) and a nominal outside diameter of 12 in (300 mm). Their operating pressure is 6,000 psi (414 bar) and they range in size from 5 gallons (19 liter) to 30 gallons (113 liter). They are available in both Bottom Repairable and Top Repairable configurations.

        These lightweight high pressure accumulators are Aluminum lined composite pressure vessels with a rubber bladder inside. The bladder is pre-charged with Nitrogen gas before the accumulator assembly is put in to hydraulic service. A poppet valve in the fluid port prevents extrusion of the pre-charged bladder through the fluid port. A pneumatic valve on the gas port facilitates periodic re-charging of the Nitrogen gas in the bladder.

        Advanced manufacturing processes allow for fast delivery of eight weeks or less for standard sizes and twelve weeks or less for custom accumulators.

      • Micromax Series - Small Composite Bladder Accumulators

      • Steelhead Composites Micromax series lightweight 3,000 psi (207 bar) bladder accumulators come in 1.0 gallon (4 liter) and 1.3 gallons (5 liter) capacities. These small and lightweight composite accumulators are a superior alternative to steel accumulators for any weight-restricted uses, mobile and industrial applications where access is remote, elevated or limited.

        These bottom repairable bladder accumulators are Aluminum lined composite pressure vessels consisting of a fluid port on one end and a gas port on the other. The large opening in the fluid port allows easy maintenance and replacement of the rubber bladder. The bladder is pre-charged with Nitrogen gas before the accumulator is put in to hydraulic service. A poppet valve in the fluid port prevents extrusion of the pre-charged bladder. A valve on the gas port allows periodic re-charging of the Nitrogen gas.

      • Acculite Series - Low Pressure Bladder Accumulators

      • Steelhead Composites Acculite Series low pressure accumulators range in size from 11.5 gallons (44 liter) to 40 gallons (151 liter). This unique 300 psi (21 bar) accumulator is a superior alternative to steel accumulators for low-pressure reservoirs used in weight-restricted and mobile applications.

        Acculite series accumulators are all-Aluminum pressure vessels with a rubber bladder inside. The bladder is pre-charged with Nitrogen gas before the accumulator assembly is put in to hydraulic service. A poppet valve in the fluid port prevents extrusion of the pre-charged bladder through the fluid port.

        Acculite series accumulators consist of a fluid port on one end and a gas port on the other. The large fluid port allows easy maintenance and replacement of the rubber bladder. A pneumatic valve on the gas port facilitates periodic re-charging of the Nitrogen gas in the bladder.

    • Gas Cylinders

        • CNG Compressed Natural Gas Cylinders

        • Steelhead Composites is offering lightweight 11 in. (280 mm) diameter 3,600 psi (250 bar) Type 3 CNG cylinders ranging in water capacity of 30 Liters to 140 Liters. These CNG cylinders are certified to NGV2-2007 and US-DOT FMVSS 304 standards with 20 years of service life. Advanced manufacturing processes allow for fast delivery of eight weeks or less. These CNG cylinders are Aluminum lined fully overwrapped composite pressure vessels with 1-1/8 in. (28.6 mm) dia. port opening on each end. One port of the CNG cylinder is fitted with a solenoid valve that integrates a thermally activated pressure relief device.
        • Gas Charge

        • High capacity hydro-pneumatic accumulators that provide significant usable gas volume can be costly, heavy and difficult to manage. Gas charge cylinders storing gaseous Nitrogen typically are used to complement large accumulators and to improve their performance in the field. Lightweight composite cylinders can provide significant weight savings over traditional steel cylinders, especially critical to the off-shore and semi-submersible oil and gas platforms. Reduction in weight translates to transportation, operational and installation cost savings as well.

          Specifications:

          • Construction: Fully wrapped Type 3 Composite Over-wrapped Pressure Vessel
          • Liner: Seamless, impermeable 6061-T6 Aluminum
          • Structural shell: High strength carbon fiber and epoxy composite
          • Protective barrier: Sacrificial layer of glass fiber and epoxy composite
          • Port openings: Custom port openings up to 2 inches (51 mm) in diameter

          Features

          • Mounting: Either neck or strap mounting possible
          • Long life: Designed and tested for high cycle life and predictable performance
          • Corrosion resistant: Not prone to rusting like steel
          • Safety: Benign leak-before-burst avoids catastrophic failure
          • Compliance: Compliant with UN/ISO 11119-2 requirements
        • Gas Transportation Cylinders

        • The goal of every product designed and manufactured by Steelhead Composites is to offer a lightweight alternative to the traditional steel or comparable product. Lightweight composite cylinders can allow more economical transportation of compressed industrial gas and gaseous fuel from point A to point B. Why haul heavy steel containers when you can pack more gas under high pressure inside lightweight storage/transportation cylinders?

          Steelhead Composites compressed gas cylinders offer a variety of gas storage options perfect for many weight-sensitive and mobile applications. Our lightweight, 17 in. (435 mm) diameter high capacity compressed gas transportation cylinders rated for 5,000 psi (345 bar) are offered in sizes ranging from 3.5 cubic feet (98 liters) to 9.5 cubic feet (270 liters). Thesecylinders weigh one-quarter to one-third of traditional steel counterparts and have a standard threaded steel 2.0 inch (51 mm) diameter port opening. In addition, reduction in weight translates to transportation, operational and installation cost savings.

        • Hydrogen

        • Steelhead Composites is developing gaseous H2 storage cylinders for fuel cell cars.These cylinders will be designed to meet stringent safety and performance guidelines for the next generation of zero-emission automobiles.
      • Markets

          • Hydraulic Hybrid

          • Lightweight composite accumulators are enabling a drive technology that provides better fuel economy, reduces harmful emissions and delivers more power at the same time

            Steelhead Composites lightweight high pressure accumulators are a vital component in every hydraulic hybrid vehicle system operating in a stop-and-go drive cycle. In such vehicle, braking forces the fluid into the high pressure accumulator recapturing the energy which is then reused to help propel the vehicle from stop. Lightweight composite accumulators rated for high operating pressures help reduce the overall weight of the vehicle resulting in greater range for equal fuel consumption and provides added bonus of lowering carbon fuel emission.
          • Mobile Equipment

          • In response to increasing global pressure to enhance efficiency and reduce emissions, heavy mobile equipments for mining, agriculture and construction are going through significant design improvements. The primary objectives are to downsize their main engine by using regenerative braking thereby reducing emissions, facilitate stop-and-go motion and maneuvering, and optimize the operating parameters of the equipment. Steelhead Composites lightweight high pressure accumulators are enabling components for these mobile equipments using hydraulic power and hydraulic hybrid technologies. Lightweight composite accumulators rated for high operating pressures help reduce the overall weight of these vehicles resulting in greater range for equal fuel consumption and provides added bonus of lowering carbon fuel emission.
          • Wind Turbine

          • Accumulators are used in wind turbines for hydraulic yaw and pitch control and system brakes. They also serve as an emergency power storage device for hydraulic pitch systems acting as a brake in extreme wind conditions or power failure protecting the turbine from damage or destruction. Accumulators offer a consistent, reliable source of continuous power when moving or stabilizing the nacelle.
          • Robotics

          • There has been a tremendous resurgence in robotics, particularly legged robotics in the last few years. Maturity in actuator technologies has catapulted a new generation of lightweight, high performance, mobile and agile robots. Standard actuation technologies used in mobile robotic platforms include hydraulics, electro-hydraulics and electro-mechanical. A renewed interest in hydraulic actuation for robotics stems from its characteristic of having a large power to mass ratio that dramatically increases the operational capability of anthrobots and powered exoskeletons. When there is a need for these robots to move heavy loads and place them with precision, no power source can compete with hydraulics in terms of cost and reliability (ref. Hydraulic Robot Provides Precise Positioning).
          • Maritime

          • Hydraulic accumulators are used for emergency energy storage, shock absorption and for controlling rudders and roll stabilization in most large ships and yachts. They are used to assist hydraulic maneuvering of deck machinery such as anchor windlass, capstans, winches, operate masts and antennae on submarines and for loading and launching weapons systems in maritime vehicles used for military defense. They are also used for pitch control of the foil and twist control of the wing in racing catamarans and sailing yachts. Lightweighting hydraulic accumulator is an important step forward in increasing the efficiency, increasing operational safety and reducing maintenance cost for the hydraulic systems on board of maritime vessels.
          • Oil and Gas

          • Accumulators have many uses in the oil and gas industry. Steelhead Composites’ lightweight accumulators are an ideal solution for offshore and remote locations where weight is a factor. Our accumulators are one-third to one-quarter the weight of traditional steel accumulators, while offering the same functionality. Consequently, several primary benefits present themselves for weight-restricted applications in oil and gas industry where delivery access is challenging, specifically offshore drilling rigs or remote sites.
          • Industrial

          • Accumulators are staple components of industrial hydraulics. They are used in injection molding, die casting, metal forming and heavy presses. The industries of application range from iron and steel to power plants and chemical plants. Lightweight accumulators may not be as appealing in stationary industrial applications as some other weight-sensitive mobile applications. However if purposefully designed, they can increase the efficiency of machines with movable hydraulic parts, increase operational safety for hard-to-reach installations, lessen vibrations and reduce maintenance cost in industrial applications, in lieu of heavy steel accumulators.