Advanced Fuel Tank Impact Protection Evaluation Methods
The incidence of fire in heavy trucks has been shown to be about ten times higher under crash conditions than occurs in passenger vehicles. Fuel tank protection testing defined in SAE standard J703 was originally issued in 1954 and presently echoes federal regulations codified in 49 CFR 393. These tests do not reflect dynamic impact conditions representative of those that can be expected by heavy trucks on the road today. Advanced virtual testing of current and alternative fuel tank designs and locations under example impact conditions is reported. Virtual testing methods can model vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to fixed object impacts. These results can then be utilized to evaluate and refine fuel tank protection system design approaches.