Jet Reference Fluid Study for Fuel Tank Sealants
Standard reference fluids, or test fluids, have long been used to evaluate the effects of hydrocarbon fuels on various materials, such as integral fuel tank sealants. Standard fluids are required because hydrocarbon fuels, such as JP-4, vary widely in composition depending on crude source, refining techniques, and other factors. To ensure reliable and reproducible results when determining the fuel resistance of materials, reference fluids of known composition, using worst case fuel compositions, are used. The current Jet Reference Fluid (JRF) called out in military sealant specifications was developed in the mid-1950s specifically as a JP-4 type test fluid formulation to be used for the accelerated laboratory testing of integral fuel tank sealants. In August 1978, chalking of the polysulfide sealant in integral fuel tanks of some new aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base in California was discovered after only 1 year of service.