TCL and LATI boost fuel tank security against frauds

Feb. 18, 2019

TCL and LATI boost fuel tank security against frauds

SpinCap® is a smart closure system for fuel tanks, designed to ensure that handling operations can only be carried out by authorised personnel.

The project was launched in Italy by TCL Group, a company specialising in electronic engineering which operates in a wide variety of industrial sectors. The idea stems from the need to secure hydrocarbon fuel (e.g. LPG) storage tanks, preventing anyone from filling or emptying them without due authorisation. The cap is unlocked by means of an electronic system, housed inside SpinCap®, which is able to recognise access credentials assigned only to authorised personnel equipped with a mobile and relative app.

The control electronics are housed inside a special steel case enclosed in a housing made from select thermoplastic compounds.
Since this is a security system, the requirements on the device’s technical features are particularly severe.

First of all, the cap must be able to withstand any tampering and break-in attempt. Therefore, structurally it must be exceptionally strong, even when subjected to considerable stress.
It must also be able to cope with challenging environmental conditions, such as extreme temperatures and prolonged immersion, as in the case of flooded wells, and must always be safe in environments that have a potentially explosive atmosphere (ATEX).

Naturally, it must also have chemical resistance to fuels, and be able to withstand solar radiation and adverse weather conditions as well as accidental falls.
Bearing finally in mind that SpinCap® is designed for long life, the housing must also remain intact and reliable over time.

Primarily, the collaboration with LATI concerned the selection and development of structural materials capable of meeting the various mechanical, thermal and environmental demands. It was decided to use grades reinforced with large quantities of glass fibre obtained from specially modified PA66 and PBT matrices .

The mechanical performances were first verified through FEM calculations, and on this basis LATI, simulating various tampering scenarios in different environmental conditions, confirmed the validity of TCL’s project. The long-term sealing capacity of the mechanical closure system was also verified through numerical simulations, which confirmed its excellent resistance to creep and yield of the geometry and the materials.

The entire system was then put through various climatic and environmental tests at certified laboratories and these fully confirmed the features envisaged for the device, also for the purpose of obtaining the necessary product certifications.

SpinCap® is now available to anyone wanting to ensure that their fuel cisterns and tanks (not only for hydrocarbons) are absolutely safe and secure, limiting access to the same by replacing their existing caps with a new lightweight, effective and smart solution.

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