WireTough Cylinders, LLC (WTC) is a technology company that is focused on developing and manufacturing pressurized cylinders that combine commercially available components to create breakthrough products that exceed current cycle life, capacity and safety metrics at a competitive price. WireTough is based in Bristol, VA, where it has been manufacturing its first generation of tanks for CNG fuel tanks of vehicles, since 2010 and has thousands of tanks in service. Its technology and product stems from the collaboration between a former inventor of the year from Goodyear (Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company) along with its former Goodyear Manufacturing Manager, a former Chief scientist from NASA, and a world-renowned and recognized researcher in the field of metal fatigue, fracture mechanics, and environment assisted cracking in steels, with a history of working with ASTM in developing materials testing standards for assessing durability of materials operating in harsh environments. WireTough utilizes concepts that are proven in wire-reinforced radial tire along with its specialized proprietary manufacturing processes to create its own class of Type II-S (WTC Trademark Pending) cylinders that significantly enhance the performance, safety, and versatility of pressurized vessels and yet have an inherently lower cost structure. Learn more about the technology here.
In September of 2014, the US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded ten grants intended to accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen as a vehicle fuel by reducing the costs of producing and delivering it. Two of those grants were for the purpose of developing low cost storage solutions for hydrogen. WireTough (award) was the primary grantee of a $2.5 million grant for the purpose of developing a low-cost jumbo (30 feet long) tanks for the ground storage of hydrogen as vehicle fuel. The DOE grant requires that these tanks hold a pressure of 12,700 psi. WireTough met all the program specified targets for performance and costs. These tanks are now commercially available. The state government of the Commonwealth of Virginia has invested another $2M in the company to assist with development and commercialization of its gas storage products.