Type 4 Pressure Vessel

Screenshot 2023-11-08 074818

Introduction to the type 4 pressure vessel

Type 4 pressure vessels are the real MVPs when it comes to holding compressed gases like hydrogen and CNG (that’s compressed natural gas, folks). Imagine these as the beefed-up fuel tanks for those rides running on gas but not the usual kind. They’re sorted into this “Type 4” category because of the stuff they’re made from and how they’re put together.

Let's dive into what makes a Type 4 vessel tick:

  • All About Composites: These bad boys are crafted from top-to-toe composite materials. Forget the metal inner jacket that Types 2 and 3 rock; Type 4s roll with a polymer liner, think super sturdy plastics like HDPE or polyamide.
  • Light as a Feather: Ditching metal liners means these vessels are way lighter, which is gold for vehicles since it means saving on gas and getting more zoom for your boom.
  • Tough Cookies: Despite being lightweight, they’re not wimps. They’ve got a killer strength-to-weight ratio and don’t go kaboom in fires like metal tanks can. Instead, they let out a sigh, which is a lot safer.
  • Pricy but Worth It: Yeah, they’ll make your wallet a bit lighter at first because of the fancy materials, and making them is pretty high-tech. But the perks, like less weight, safety, and lasting longer, can make them worth the investment, especially for stuff like cars that need to stay light on their feet.
  • Where They Shine: These vessels are superstars in the auto world, especially for cars powered by hydrogen or CNG, and they’re even starting to make waves in aerospace and renewable energy storage, thanks to their lightweight and safety features.
  • Watch Out For: The polymer liners are tight, but they’re not into every chemical, and some gases might sneak through over time. Plus, they need special treatments depending on what gas you’re storing.

Quick Hits:

  • Built Tough: Thanks to the composite setup, these vessels can handle pressure like a champ, making them solid and reliable.
  • Gas-Tight Liner: The liner’s there to make sure no gas plays Houdini. It’s not just about holding the structure; it’s about keeping things sealed tight.
  • Pros:
    • Weight Watchers: Their lightweight nature is a big plus, offering energy savings and efficiency, especially on the move.
    • Rust Who?: These aren’t your average rust buckets. The composite material means saying bye to corrosion, which is a win for longevity and maintenance.
    • Safety First: Even in the hot seat (like fires), these vessels keep things chill, venting gas in a controlled way rather than going boom.


  • Show Me the Money: High-quality materials and the tech to make them don’t come cheap, though costs are getting better as they become more popular.
  • Leaky Potential: The polymer liners are tight, but not perfect. Some gases might sneak out over time, which is something to keep an eye on.
  • Check-Up Complexities: Keeping them in check is a bit more of a puzzle due to their layered build. You might need some high-tech gear to see how they’re holding up.

Where You'll See 'Em:

  • Eco-Friendly Rides: As cars get cleaner, Type 4 vessels are there to store the good stuff, helping us cut down on emissions.
  • Energy Storage: With the green energy push, storing energy like hydrogen needs big tanks and Type 4s are up for the challenge.
  • Sky-High Applications: Every ounce counts in aerospace, making these vessels a solid choice for things like emergency oxygen.
  • On the Move: For the heroes in firefighting gear or undersea explorers, the lightweight benefits of Type 4s mean easier movement and longer missions.

Need a reliable partner?

Red River specializes in the design and manufacturing of pressure vessels. We also fabricate related items such as prefabricated spools and skid packages. We don’t build Type 4 vessels but we can help with your more “every day” varieties.

Reach Out to us today and experience the Red River difference. Where American Made and American Values come together, we care more.

FAQ: Understanding Type 4 Pressure Vessels

What distinguishes a Type 4 pressure vessel from other types?

Type 4 pressure vessels are known for their composite construction. Unlike traditional metal vessels, Type 4 vessels are made with a polymer (typically a thermoplastic) liner and reinforced with a composite material like carbon fiber or fiberglass. This construction offers superior strength-to-weight ratios and excellent corrosion resistance, making them ideal for storing gases under high pressure, such as hydrogen or natural gas.

How does the performance of Type 4 pressure vessels compare in terms of safety and durability?

Type 4 pressure vessels excel in safety and durability due to their non-metallic construction. They are less prone to corrosion and fatigue compared to metal vessels, reducing the risk of leaks or ruptures. Additionally, their composite materials can handle high pressure and are impact-resistant, which is crucial for ensuring safety in demanding applications.

Are there specific industries or applications where Type 4 pressure vessels are particularly advantageous?

Type 4 pressure vessels are highly beneficial in industries where weight and corrosion resistance are critical factors. They are widely used in the transportation sector, especially in automotive and aerospace industries, for hydrogen storage in fuel cell vehicles. Their lightweight nature also makes them suitable for portable high-pressure gas storage applications.

What are the maintenance and inspection requirements for Type 4 pressure vessels?

Maintenance and inspection of Type 4 pressure vessels typically focus on ensuring the integrity of the composite material. Regular inspections are necessary to check for any signs of external damage, delamination, or environmental degradation. Unlike metal vessels, they require specialized non-destructive testing methods, such as ultrasonic testing, to assess their condition.

How does the cost of Type 4 pressure vessels compare to other types, and what factors influence their cost?

Type 4 pressure vessels are generally more expensive upfront compared to traditional metal vessels. The cost is influenced by the advanced materials used, such as high-grade polymers and composite fibers, and the manufacturing process, which is often more complex and labor-intensive. However, their longevity, reduced maintenance costs, and performance benefits can offset the initial investment over time.


In the realm of industrial solutions, Red River emerges as a pioneer, offering a diverse range of custom-engineered products and facilities. Among our specialties is the design and production of Custom/OEM Pressure Vessels, meticulously crafted to meet individual client requirements, ensuring performance under various pressure conditions. Our expertise extends to the domain of prefabrication, where Red River leads with distinction.

The company excels in creating prefabricated facilities, modules, and packages, reinforcing its stance as a forerunner in innovation and quality. This proficiency is further mirrored in their Modular Skids offering, where they provide an array of Modular Fabricated Skid Packages and Packaged equipment. Each piece is tailored to client specifications, underlining their commitment to delivering precision and excellence in every project they undertake.

Pressure Vessel line art

Pressure Vessels

Custom/OEM Pressure Vessels designed to fit your needs.

Prefabrication line art


Red River is a leader in prefabricated facilities, modules and packages.

Modular skid line art

Modular Skids

Modular Fabricated Skid Packages and Packaged equipment manufactured to your specifications.


Need action? Ready to Get Started?

We are here to make it happen. Request a quote!