Production of Plastic Fuel Tanks Using Laminar Barrier Technology 890442
Automobiles from all parts of the world are now being built with plastic fuel tanks made from high density polyethylene (HPDE). The most difficult aspect of the current manufacturing process for meeting environmental regulations is the need to work with hazardous chemicals such as fluorine and sulfur trioxide to reduce hydrocarbon permeation.
Laminar barrier technology is a barrier process under development which meets EPA requirements, reduces costs and eliminates environmental and employee safety concerns. Laminar technology is a patented, one-step barrier process where 4-5% of a barrier resin is dry blended with HDPE and processed using standard blow molding equipment. The finished fuel tank will contain an integral barrier composed of overlapping barrier resin platelets within the HDPE matrix. Regrind can be effectively utilized and there are no restrictions for secondary assembly techniques such as hot plate welding.
Barrier properties of a lamellar fuel tank can be instantaneously quantified using a non-destructive quality control test. This is a new Q.C. test for fuel tanks that will allow the barrier effectiveness of every tank produced to be verified.
It is anticipated that laminar barrier technology will provide a more flexible process to further accelerate the trend toward plastic fuel tanks including tanks with better barrier to alcohol fuel blends. All processing and performance requirements have been met worldwide.