Evaluation of the Corrosion Durability of Steel Systems for Automobile Fuel Tanks.
The Strategic Alliance for Steel Fuel Tanks (SASFT), an international group of steel producers and manufacturing companies, recently completed a major corrosion study of various steel ‘systems’ for automobile fuel tanks. The ten steel systems included low carbon steels (either pre-painted or post-painted with protective coatings) and stainless steels. The 2-year corrosion test program included testing in salt solutions to simulate road environments for the exterior of a fuel tank. Special test specimens were designed to represent a manufactured tank. The external tests used were the Neutral Salt Spray test (ASTM B117) with exposures up to 2000 hours and the Cyclic Corrosion test (SAE J2334) with exposures up to 120 and 160 cycles to represent vehicle lives of 15 years and 20 years, respectively. Additionally, the resistance to an aggressive ethanol-containing fuel (internal tank corrosion) was assessed by using uniquely designed drawn cups of the various steel systems.