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Evaluation of the Corrosion Durability of Steel Systems for Automobile Fuel Tanks.
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published April 11, 2005 by SAE International in United States
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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. Steel cups of each material containing the aggressive test fuel (CE10A) were held at 45°C for 39 weeks to simulate 15-year exposure. Changing the test fuel every 4 weeks simulated the frequent refueling of an automobile fuel tank and served to replenish contaminant ions and minimize oxygen depletion (per SAE J-1747).
The criterion selected for failure was perforation, however, visual observation and photographs assessed the progress of corrosion qualitatively. Weight losses and pit depths were used as quantitative assessments. In the external tests, coating integrity was assessed by creepback at a scribe line and chip ratings after gravel impact.
For the simulated external tank corrosion tests the progress of general corrosion (red and white rusting), varied among the materials and with exposure. However, no perforation was observed in any material even after the maximum exposure times. The maximum pit depth observed in only two samples represented about 20% to 40% of the original steel thickness. For the internal tank corrosion tests, no pitting was observed in any of the materials even after 39 weeks exposure.
The detailed results, described herein, demonstrate that several steel systems will meet a 15-year life, and likely will meet a 20-year life. The results are being made available to the automotive community to encourage automakers to conduct their own proving ground tests to validate the SASFT findings.
All authors are current members of the Corrosion Evaluation Team of the Strategic Alliance for Steel Fuel Tanks (SASFT). SASFT is organized by the American Iron & Steel Institute.
- Peter Mould - Program Manager, SASFT
- Terry Burton - Corus
- Rick Daley - Dofasco
- Shinichi Itonaga - Nippon Steel Corp.
- Toshihiro Kikuchi - JFE Steel
- Sue Jokela - Harley Davidson
- Michel Luciani - Arcelor
- Matt McCosby - U.S. Steel Corp.
- Doug Paul - The Magni Group
- Tetsuo Sakiyama - JFE Steel
- Gerd Schwerzel - Arcelor
- Ray Sheffield - Martinrea Intl.
- Greg Tarrance - The Magni Group
- Wilhelm Warnecke - ThyssenKrupp Stahl
CitationMould, P., Burton, T., Daley, R., Itonaga, S. et al., "Evaluation of the Corrosion Durability of Steel Systems for Automobile Fuel Tanks.," SAE Technical Paper 2005-01-0540, 2005, https://doi.org/10.4271/2005-01-0540.
Data Sets - Support Documents
|[Unnamed Dataset 1]|
- “Evaluation of the Corrosion Durability of Steel Systems for Automobile Fuel Tanks: Report of an independent study sponsored by the Strategic Alliance for Steel Fuel Tanks (SASFT) from 2002 - 2004, issued Nov. 2004, see www.sasft.org.
- Lutze F.W., McCune D.C., Schaffer J.R., Smith K.A., Thompson L.S., and Townsend H.E., “Interlaboratory Testing to Evaluate improvements in the precision of the SAE J2334 Cyclic Corrosion Test,” Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Zinc and Zinc Alloy Coated Steel Sheet, Centre for Research in Metallurgy, Brussels, Belgium, (June 2001)
- Lutze F.W., McCune D.C., Townsend H.E., Smith K.A., Shaffer R.J., Thompson L.S., and Hilton H.D., “The Effects of Temperature and Salt Concentration on the Speed of the SAE J2334 Cyclic Corrosion Test,” Proceedings of the European Corrosion Congress, London, (2000)
- Shaffer R.J., “Practical Test Results Using the SAE J2334 Accelerated Corrosion Test,” Proceedings of the European Corrosion Congress, London, (2000)
- Davidson Dennis, et al, “Perforation Corrosion Performance of Autobody Steel Sheet in On-Vehicle and Accelerated Tests,” SAE 2003-01-1238
- “Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus,” ASTM Designation: B117-02
- “Cosmetic Corrosion Lab Test,” SAE J2334 (Revised October 2002)
- “Test for Chip Resistance of Surface Coatings,” SAE J400 (Revised 2002-11)
- “Gasoline, Alcohol and Diesel Fuel Surrogates for Materials Testing,” SAE J1681 (Rev. Jan. 2000)
- “Recommended Methods for Conducting Corrosion Tests in Gasoline/Methanol Fuel Mixtures,” SAE &1747 (Dec. 1994)
- “Standard Test Method for Ball Punch Deformation of Metallic Sheet Material,” ASTM Designation: E653-84 (Re-approved 2000)
- “Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Painted or Coated Specimens Subjected to Corrosive Environments,” ASTM Designation: D1654-00
- For the first 4-week exposure to fuel, Viton A used for the gasket and some slight degradation of the gasket was observed. Subsequently, for the remaining exposures (4 to 39 weeks) Viton F was used and no degradation occurred.
- A pre-trial of 2 months (2 fuel loadings) indicated no loss of fuel after each of the 2 four-week exposures.