Fuel Systems: Material Selection and Compatibility with Alternative Fuels C1805

Topics: Powertrain & Propulsion

This course will introduce the participants to the factors governing fuel-material compatibility and methods to predict and empirically determine compatibility for new alternative fuel chemistries.  By understanding the mechanisms and factors associated with chemically-induced degradation, participants will be able to assess the impact of fuel chemistry to infrastructure components, including those associated with vehicle fuel systems.  This course is unique in that it looks at compatibility from a fuel chemistry perspective, especially new fuel types such as alcohols and other biofuels.  The introduction of these new fuels is of concern to the infrastructure and vehicle industries and is a timely topic given federal push towards renewable fuels.  Since most fuels, especially those used in transportation, do not contain appreciable quantities of corrosive acids or water, more emphasis will be placed on elastomers and plastics used as seals and structural components.  However, discussion of metal corrosion will be included for completeness.  The seminar will include the use of solubility analysis to predict compatibility performance of selected polymer materials and conditions precipitating metal-based corrosion.  Empirical results and field observations will be presented and discussed in the context of fuel chemistry and material structure. 

Learning Objectives

By attending this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Select and perform proper compatibility measurements to determine fuel compatibility with materials used in fuel systems
  • Perform first order solubility analyses to predict incompatibilities
  • Identify potential infrastructure risks associated with the introduction of new fuels
  • Recognize and identify conditions which promote corrosion
  • Select materials that are compatible for a given fuel chemistry

Who Should Attend

Managers, engineers (mechanical, chemical, materials), systems engineers and designers, and fuel specialists who work for vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, manufacturers of fuel storage, dispensing, and delivery systems, state and federal regulators, fuel additive companies, biofuel producers, and petroleum producers will find this course valuable.


Participantsshould have undertaken college-level introductory chemistry courses and have ageneral understanding of polymer and metallic materials.



You must complete all course contact hours and successfully pass the learning assessment to obtain CEUs.

  • Expanding Biofuels and Alternative Fuel Use
    • Government policies influencing fuel use: North America, Europe, Asia
    • Resource driven alternative fuel use (bio-oil and otherwise)
    • Global trends
    • Real world examples of fuel-material incompatibilities
    • Alternative fuels vs. petroleum-based compositions
  • Fuels and Fuel Chemistry
  • Fuel System Materials and Components
    • Relevant properties
    • Legacy and new materials and components
    • Regulations: EPA, State
    • UL listing standards
  • Composition and Fundamentals of Polymer and Metal Structures
    • Plastics - permeation barriers, high density polyethylene, Teflon, flexible plastics and rigid plastic resins
    • Elastomers – fluorocarbon, nitrile rubber, silicone, polyurethane, neoprene, etc.
    • Metals – mild and stainless steels, aluminum, nickel, bronze and brass alloys
  • Definition of Compatibility
    • Polymers and sealants
    • Metals
  • Methodology: Properties and Methods used to Assess Material-Fuel Compatibility
    • Test fuels (SAE J1681, ASTM, etc.)
    • Bench Tests: Polymers and Sealants (SAE J1681, ASTM, etc.)
    • Bench Tests: Metals and Alloys (ASTM, etc.)
  • Solubility and its Impact on Polymer Compatibility
    • Use of Hansen solubility parameter methods to predict solubility
    • Exercises to predict compatibility for selected polymers
  • Conditions Exacerbating Corrosion
    • Galvanic
    • Microbial induced corrosion
Michael Kass

Michael KassMr. Kass is currently a member of the Fuel, Engines and Emissions Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) where his research interests include advanced engine performance, emissions measurement and control, and fuel characterization. His work responsibilities include fuel-material interactions, especially polymer compatibility with biofuels. A long tenured employee of ORNL, Mike’s noteworthy accomplishments include successful development and application of solubility analyses to predict fuel compatibility with infrastructure elastomers and plastics; successful collaborations with NREL, Butamax, USEPA, and Underwriters Laboratories on assessing fueling infrastructure risk with new fuels; and serving as technical advisor to the CRC ULSD corrosion panel. He has authored/co-authored over forty publications, two invited book chapters, and two patents and holds committee memberships with SAE and CRC. Mike earned a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Tennessee.

Duration: 2 Days
CEUs: 1.3

Fees: $1299.00

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