We are suppliers of fuel cells and flexible liquid storage equipment
for defense and commercial industries.
In 1917, American Fuel Cells and Coated Fabrics Company, formerly known as Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, began as a supplier of fuel cells to the U.S. Signal Corp. for aviation needs.
At the end of World War II, Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. moved from California to Arkansas by converting the historic Magnolia Cotton Mill, a textile mill company from N & W Industries, to a large manufacturing complex specializing in coated fabrics. The plant was called Firestone Coated Fabrics Co.
A group of local investors purchased the company in 1983 and it was renamed American Fuel Cells and Coated Fabrics Company, also known throughout the industry as Amfuel. In 1995 Zodiac Aerospace purchased Amfuel to became part of the largest manufacturer and supplier of fuel cells in the world.
This facility concentrated its efforts in the production of coated fabrics, liquid logistics, as well as fuel cell manufacturing for the aerospace industry. In June 2015 a group of investors led by Crosslake Investment Group purchased the company.
Amfuel is located on 71 acres, with 310,000 square feet of operation area, and employs approximately 300 employees. With over 60 years of experience in the production of coated fabric products and aviation fuel cells, Amfuel has also set its sights on expansion of production into Wichita Falls, TX with additional anticipated growth of 280 jobs into the local economy.
Oil was discovered near Magnolia, Arkansas, and was called the Magnolia Oil Fields, producing both oil and natural gas. The city soon became a producer in steel, lumber, aluminum, and bromine, and rubber coated products and fuel cells for the military market.
Firestone was the first rubber company to win the Army Navy “E” award for achievement in war production.
Firestone created the Coated Fabrics division in Magnolia. Production included fuel cells for the aircraft and auto industry, including crash-resistant tanks for Indianapolis Speedway racing cars, as well as Imberton Fabridam by Firestone, giant nylon bags coated with neoprene.
The Magnolia plant was also producing the Fabritank by Firestone - collapsible liquid vessels which hold from 25 gallons to 40,000 barrels. These were used by the military as fuel tanks, for civilian water storage and to meet commercial requirements of the petroleum industry.
At that time, the company produced a range of products, including lifeboats, aircraft fuel cells, coated-fabric containers and other defense products, and succeeded to double the production capacity.
Firestone was one of the largest suppliers of molded rubber parts for the auto industry and also one of the largest suppliers of rubber products for other industries. Many kinds of semi-pneumatic tires were manufactured for farm implements, industrials trucks, garden tractors, lawn mowers and children’s toys. Rolls, belts, drain hose, and other items were provided for the home appliance field. Firestone‘s production also included manufacturing foam mattresses and cushioning for furniture and transportation.
Amfuel, producing aircraft fuel bladders, liquid logistics containers and aerospace components, reported sales in 1994 of more than $40 million. In February, 1995, France's Zodiac S.A., which produces rubberized fabrics and inflatable boats, purchased American Fuel Cell & Coated Fabrics. Amfuel then became part of a worldwide organization with the status and stability Zodiac enjoyed.
Zodiac Aerospace divested the company to a group of investors led by Crosslake Investment Group. Additional production facilities are currently being set and completed in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Crosslake Investment Group sold the company to the Amfuel WF investment group.
Those certificates are valid for the following product or service ranges:
The design and manufacture of aircraft fuel cells for fixed-wing and rotary aircraft; the design and manufacture of truck mounted tanks, embankment supported tanks, dunnage bags and other coated fabric items.
In accordance with the requirements of AS 9104A and AS 9100, Amfuel has been certified under the Aerospace Registration Management Program for both certifications.
Amfuel’s quality policy ensures complete customer satisfaction. Every level from management to production is involved in quality control to assure our customers receive the highest standards of product integrity and safety.
• ISO 9001: 2008
• EN/JISQ/AS 9100:2009
Amfuel’s design and engineering departments have developed a wide range of products based upon extensive training in the complex assembly of elastomers, metals, plastics, fabrics, films and adhesives.
With a high-level of commitment to cutting-edge technology, Amfuel continues to expand their product line for military and commercial use.
Ernst Eger of United States Rubber Company (later Uniroyal) patented a self-sealing fuel tank design in 1941, one of many companies involved in developing this technology during WW2. A Goodyear chemist, James Merrill, filed a patent in 1941 (published in 1947) for refining and successfully testing his method for manufacturing self-sealing tanks using a two-layer system of rubber compounds encased in a metal outer shell or the wing lining of the aircraft. By 1942, fireproof tanks had developed the first flexible fuel bladders as range extender tanks for the MkIX Spitfire. These tanks were flexible containers, made of a laminated self-sealing material like vulcanized rubber, and with as few seams as possible to minimize leak paths.
Not all fighters were fitted with the relatively new invention. Self-sealing tanks tended to be heavier with lower capacity than non-sealed tanks. Nonetheless, aircraft that were fitted with self-sealing tanks regularly took more punishment than those without, and were able to return to base. Combat experience in the Pacific war showed that the heavily protected American aircraft could sustain far more damage than the lightly armored Japanese designs without self-sealing fuel tanks (for instance, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero).
Most jet fighters and all US military rotary wing aircraft have self-sealing tanks. Military rotary wing fuel tanks have the additional feature of being crashworthy. High altitudes require the tanks to be pressurized, which makes self-sealing difficult. Newer technologies have made advances like inert foam-filled tanks to prevent detonation. This foam is open cell foam that effectively divides the gas space above the remaining fuel into thousands of small spaces, none of which contain sufficient vapor to support combustion. This foam also serves to reduce fuel slosh.
For military use, tanks are qualified to MIL-DTL-27422 (includes crashworthiness requirements) or MIL-DTL-5578 (non-crashworthy). An aircraft fuel tank sometimes consists of several interconnected fuel cells. The interconnecting hoses are typically also self-sealing.
In addition to fighter aircraft and rotorcraft, some military patrol vehicles and armored VIP limousines feature self-sealing fuel tanks. Self-sealing fuel tanks using military technology are also required in some motorsport categories.
Amfuel produces the foam, the coated fabrics and most of the components that are listed in the process of the fuel bladder production. Amfuel has developed crash resistant and self-sealing fuel cells and special auxiliary equipment for extended range of applications. Amfuel also modifies fuel cells to match any airframe system and can develop and manufacture fuel cells to any application from existing US and foreign built aircraft.
Answering your need for storing and transporting fuels, corrosive chemicals or hazardous liquids, Amfuel’s products have been stored outside in extreme weather conditions with no risk of corrosion or leakage. Amfuel’s water and fuel logistic systems for stationary or portable applications are the most cost effective and safest methods of distributing and transporting bulk materials by land, sea or air.
Developed over 40 years ago, the water embankment tank technology continues to grow with the entire list of Amfuel military and commercial products for fuel and water containment. Fabritank systems have been in continuous operation for over 20 years in a wide range of climatic environments throughout the world.
Commercial application of Fabritank containers began in the early 1960’s as supplemental on-site water storage tanks for fire protection systems and has quickly expanded to include potable and waste water systems. This product is custom made to fit the site.
The standard shape is square utilizing construction similar to a pillowcase, consisting of a top and bottom, which is installed in and supported by an earthen embankment with plumbing connections are located at the bottom. Even though the square form is cheaper and deeper, there are some variations available including rectangle shaped. These offer changes in slope or depth changes as well. Fabritank containers specialists are available for consultation and/or field support at any time during design and installation as well as throughout the nominal operation of a Fabritank system.
The decision to install water tanks is dictated by need. Fabritank systems do the same thing that steel and concrete tanks do: hold water, but in a way that is more pleasing to the eye. The earthen embankment may be landscaped to blend into the natural surroundings.
Embankment supported Fabritank systems are easily constructed and installed, and meet changes in community needs by being easy to remove or relocated with little evidence of disturbance to the area. The systems combine many of the good features of other tanks, while making it possible to install an attractive, low profile, reasonably priced storage system with a simple and straightforward installation.
Water Embankment Tank
Today, liquids are hauled over 2 million miles yearly with this unique product. Hauling liquids in one direction and finished goods of the product on the back haul. Due to the low value nature of the products (excluding alcohol products), it is imperative that shipments are planned and delivered with the most efficient routing to cut down the over all trucking costs. Amfuel has designed a solution based on efficiency to increase both vehicle utilizations and decrease cost / miles /gal of delivered product by allowing trucks to offer services achieving lower trucking costs.
Truck mounted tanks give owners and operators exposure to new markets and loads. They give any flat deck trailer, or van, the ability to increase productivity by allowing drivers to haul a normal dry cargo one way and return home with a liquid haul. Drivers may haul raw liquid materials to a customer and then take away the finished product. Originally developed for the military; this technology has been in use commercially for more than 40 years and hauled over a million miles. These tanks are DOT approved for up to class 9 hazardous materials.
Embankment Supported Fabritank systems are easily constructed and installed and meet changes in community needs by being easy to remove or relocated with little evidence of disturbance to the area. The systems combine many of the goods features of other tanks, while making it possible to install an attractive, low profile, reasonably priced storage system with a simple and straightforward installation.
Any transport service company, moving liquid bulk food and food products, will be more than impressed with how easy this product works and the solutions it brings. Truck mounted tanks are loaded under pressure, filling the tank walls to make them almost rigid, which eliminates surge when hauling. Many drivers have commented that a loaded truck mounted tank is more stable than other types of containerized lading in transit. They can operate on a service temperature range from -30º to +105º F.
Truck mounted tanks can carry latex paint, liquid latex, paper cement, water, roofing slurry, lubricating oils, phenol formaldehyde resin, styrene polymer, (type b resin), urea formaldehyde resin, food grade materials, plywood glues, liquid fertilizer, fruit juices, inks, and many other products. These tanks offer its users the ability to transport their product on a global reach using a combination of air, sea, and road transportation.
Truck Mounted Tanks
Dunnage bags, also known as airbags, air cushions, and inflatable bags, are used to secure and stabilize cargo. Introduced in 1970, dunnage bags provide convenient and cost-effective cargo stabilization in ISO sea containers, closed railcars, trucks, and oceangoing vessels. Because improperly secured cargo creates safety hazard, dunnage bags improve travel safety. According to the European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, "up to 25% of accidents involving trucks can be attributable to inadequate cargo securing".
Dunnage airbags consist of closed chambers filled with air. When at rest, only the static load generated by the weight of the package contents bears upon the cushioning. When dynamic loads occur, these are absorbed by compression of the cushion.
The quantity of inflation air may be varied in accordance with the particular properties and requirements of the package contents. Dunnage bags are commercially available in various sizes and designs, ranging from spheres, standard cushions to corner and edge cushioning and tubular cushioning. Dunnage bags can be used to stabilize, secure, and protect cargo during all sorts of transportation. Dunnage bags are placed in the void between the cargo.
It is important that the size of the dunnage bags is the correct size. The size is determined by the void. If this does not match, the bags will not do their work properly with potential large damage to cargo and people.
Dunnage bags can be used in all modes of transportation. Most types of cargo can be secured with the use of dunnage bags, including break bulk and palletized cargo, coils, barrels, cases, and crates.
Waterproof and safe to use, Dunnage bags are used for both the shipping and receiving end of transportation. They inflate rapidly with compressed air, and are easy to install.