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A major advancement in fuel and water transport has been announced, with the news that the Turtle-Pac Army Tank is now available to the general public.

A military-only product for many years, this super tough Turtle tank is a logistical breakthrough for both industry and private individuals.

Used by the US military in Northern Iraq since 2015, the Army Tank offers myriad uses across the world, and demand for the product is expected to be huge.

Better Access to New Technology

Transport fuel tanks are not new to the market, but new technology is making them lighter, safer and more accessible. Traditional rigid fuel tanks take up more space, and are prone to failing due to corrosion.

Flexible fuel bladders were first used in World War II aircraft, with most manufactured by Marston Excelsior. As their usefulness became clear, they were used to transport many different liquids, from water and wine to chemicals.

Long Term Viability

Whilst those early transport fuel tanks had the advantage of being lighter and a space saver, the materials used to make them posed some problems. Durability was questionable and more research was needed to make them viable long-term.

It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that a stronger, more durable material was discovered, when Laszlo Torok invented the world’s first yacht flotation system.

Decades of research and development followed as Laszlo trialled different materials, stitching and manufacturing techniques.

A Tank Within a Tank

The ARMY TRUCK TANK is just one of this innovative company’s products. Australian-made, it has a capacity of 2000 litres, yet weighs just 35kg when empty. Basically a tank within a tank, it features a changeable inner tank, protected by an immensely strong, nylon weave outer layer.

This style of transport fuel tank offers many advantages over rigid alternatives, including safety and stability. Unlike a metal tank, it is easier to handle and secure, and UV resistant. It is safer as there are no dangerous vapours.

The ARMY TRUCK TANK also alleviates the problem of fuel contamination. The lack of air space means no condensation or corrosion, so fuel bugs and algae are not an issue.

Free Up Space For Cargo

The real beauty of this product is that once empty – unlike steel drums – it can be rolled up and stowed away, freeing up space for more cargo.

Confirming to both Quality Assurance AS/NZS 9001:2000 and MIL-D-23119G Testing, two 500 litre ROLLDRUMS fit easily onto the tray of a One Ton Ute, with space leftover. Secure the tanks with tough tie-downs, and simply roll them off when you reach your destination.

Whilst primarily used by the military for fuel, these tanks can also be used to transport water, fire fighting foam, or other products. They are amazingly versatile – an incredible 14 full RollDrum 500s can fit into a 20-foot shipping container. They can also be floated or towed on water.

Game-Changer for Military, Humanitarian Use

Turtle tanks have been a game-changer for road, air and sea transport, and are particularly favoured for use in drop zones. The super tough fabric and fail-proof stitching enables the tanks to be dropped with or without parachutes, for military and humanitarian use.

In drop tests, a tank has been filled with 500 litres of water, and dropped 10 metres without a chute. That’s 22 tons of force when it hits the ground! With no damage. The same result was achieved when it was dropped 150 metres at 100 knots.

Safer and Cost Effective

The ability to drop fuel or cargo into difficult areas was quickly welcomed by the military. It speeds up deployment, and is more accurate for smaller drop zones. It is the safest and most cost-effective method of resupplying troops.

Variations on this design are used in helicopters, or for under slung cargo. Amazingly strong electro fuse welding (35000 volts) ensures fabric seams are indestructible, and maintenance free for life.

Has the steel storage tank had its day? That remains to be seen. What is obvious is that stronger, more flexible options will continue to claim market share. With a growing global population, and increasing demand for better water storage, they seem the only solution.

Tried and Tested in War Zones

With ever increasing safety and environmental protection legislation, flexible fuel tanks will help industry meet its obligations. This, in turn, will improve the reputation of and trust in our major players.

Being able to transport water, fuel, and other essentials easily and more economically is the aim. Clearly the military saw the many advantages of flexible tanks long ago. Tried and tested in the toughest conditions and war zones, these products are now becoming more readily available to the general public.

Tags : manufacturing techniquesTransport fuel tanks
Kevin Bravo

The author Kevin Bravo

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