Changes in Elastomer Swell with Diesel Fuel Composition 942017
Reports of disabling elastomer seal failures across a wide range of diesel equipment, which accompanied the introduction of low sulfur diesel fuel in October '93 prompted an in-depth investigation of low sulfur diesel fuel chemical speciation. The objective of this work was to gain a better understanding of how low sulfur fuels had changed to cause this problem. Mass Spectroscopy (MS) and seal swell data were obtained on a broad geographical sampling of low sulfur diesel fuels obtained during the 4th quarter of '93. Previously available high sulfur (0.25%) data were available for comparison. Elastomer seal swell data were obtained in pure component blends and also in fuels which had caused field failures. Using these data it was possible to determine which fuel components or lack thereof may contribute most heavily to seal swell failures. Further, compression set data were obtained for a number of commonly used fuel system elastomers in a fuel which caused field problems. The role of peroxides in degrading elastomer compression set was not investigated.