Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Jeremy Worm

Committee Member 1

Greg Odegard

Committee Member 2

Scott Miers


Michigan Technological University is collaborating with Southwestern Energy and REL Inc. to develop and integrate a compressed natural gas (CNG) matrix tank that enables efficient packaging, increases range, and reduced cost for CNG vehicle applications. The vehicle being used in this project is a light-duty pickup truck to take advantage of the open space underneath the body and bed of the vehicle. With today’s cylindrical CNG tanks consuming cargo space, a solution is to develop a tank capable of being shaping to the underbody of the truck to free cargo space. University faculty and graduate students utilizes Finite Element Analysis (FEA), material property testing, and dynamic vehicle testing to integrate the REL produced tank to a 2015 Chevy Silverado.

This thesis specifically covers the tank integration and vehicle testing portion of the project. The four different tank configuration phases of the project are described in detail to provide a frame of reference. In addition, the procedure to integrate the first phase of REL matrix tanks to the vehicle is included. Certain instrumentation and testing procedures were required to obtain the data, so the process and development of selecting the required instrumentation and the test procedures are included. To conclude, data from the first three phases of the project are compared and contrasted to view the effects of the conformable matrix tanks. The data shows that the placement and weight of the CNG tanks does directly affect static and dynamic parameters such as lowering the vehicle center of gravity and increasing the vehicle acceleration time.