A fuel tank is a container used to store flammable fluids. It is to a part in the engine system that stores, propels and release fuel into the engine. Fuel tank varies depending on size and complexity.
The tank capacity and fuel efficiency determine the maximum distance that a vehicle, powered by a combustion engine, can cover. While large tanks increase the maximum distance a vehicle can cover it also takes a wide space and adds weight.
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Fuel Tank Technologies
Metal fuel tanks
These tanks are welded from stamped aluminum or steel sheets. Until recently these tanks were very common in automotive but are less in the market now. They do a fantastic job in limiting fuel emissions but are less competitive now.
Plastic high density polythene (HDPE)
These fuel tanks are made by blow molding. HDPE tanks are very flexible. They can adopt complex shapes, hence save space and improve safety in case of crashing. For instance they can be mounted on the rear axle. Low fracture toughness has been a major concern in comparison to the metal fuel tank.
Most modern car fuel tanks have a remote opening feature. This means that they are only opened using electric motor or cable release. These tanks can’t be opened from outside the car or by hand.
Also known as secondary tanks they are normally found in long distance or older vehicles.
The design and location of the tank is mostly a compromise of space availability. Most automobiles have only one tank that is located at the vehicle rear. Modern designs have internal baffles to prevent the fluid from sloshing back and forth. Broken baffles produce noises during acceleration and acceleration. Some components that are common in all fuel tanks include fuel outlet line, fuel filler pipe and a vent system.
Additionally all fuel tanks are vented. Initially, the fuel tanks were vented to the atmosphere. This means that hydrocarbon emissions were released to the atmosphere. Since 1970, fuel tanks are designed with emission control system. The fuel tanks are vented to the engine through a charcoal canister before emitted to the atmosphere in what is called an evaporative emission control.
During refilling Fuel flows through the filler tube which is sealed with a fuel cap into the tank. If the fuel cap is faulty or lose, the engine light will come on. Fuel tanks contain sending unit which tell you how much fuel is remaining. It keeps you in the know when you are low on fuel.
Modern fuel tanks are designed with emission control systems to prevent fuel vapor from evaporating to the atmosphere.
Read more about your car’s emission system: