Who has never heard of PLUMA?
The lightest and most attractive gas bottle in the national market, owned by Galp, had in its genesis, in 2005, a very important contribution of Polymer Engineering from the School of Engineering of UMinho, in a project led by the company Amtrol-Alfa and with the involvement of PIEP – Centre for Innovation in Polymer Engineering. The solution, at the time, was to use, in the structural part of the bottle, layers of a resistant and innovative thermoplastic matrix composite material (PP reinforced with continuous glass fibers) over a very thin steel core. This type of construction made it possible to reduce the weight of the bottle.
In addition to selecting the materials and manufacturing method to be applied, PIEP used advanced calculation methods to prove the resistance of the new bottle under the most severe working conditions and carried out tests to guarantee its safety in the most unexpected operating situations, such as the risk of dangerous electrostatic discharges during its passage through the filling lines.
The prestigious international awards given to PLUMA, “Spirit of Conquest” at the world’s largest composites industry fair (JEC 2005) and IF’s Design Award in 2006, are the best demonstration of the excellent quality of its conception and design. The success of this project, totally national, evidenced, therefore, how determinant can be for the re-launch of a more competitive and sustained Portuguese industrial fabric, the bet in a correct model of cooperation between R&D Institutions and Industry.
Proof of this success is the rebirth of PLUMA, in 2022, again with the contribution of UMinho, as the “world’s smartest gas bottle”, this time with the R&D partnership with TecMinho, the Research Group of the UMinho Science School Electroactive Smart Materials, and the Spin-Off UMinho W4A-Wise4Automation for the development of the gas level detection system, which translates the “update” to the product and the innovation that allows users of this gas bottle to know at what gas level the container is. Portuguese users of this product will thus be able to better know their consumption and thus better manage their spending.
Congratulations to all involved!
More information about Pluma here.