Plastic fuel tanks

Plastic fuel tanks are becoming increasingly common as a replacement for metal fuel tanks in cars. One of the major benefits is the almost unrestricted freedom of shape.

However, there are various regulations concerning fire resistance, impact strength, permeability etc. with which they must comply. These requirements are set out in UN standard ECE R.34 Annex 5. RISE tests tanks against this standard and against the vehicle manufacturers' own requirements. The ECE R.34 tests are (in general terms) as follows:


Evaporative emission testing

This test measures the average permeation of petrol vapour over an eight-week period, by weighing the tanks and recording the loss of weight. During the test, the tanks are stored at a temperature of +40 °C in explosion-resistant areas.

Mechanical strength

The tanks are filled with water at +53 °C, and then subjected to an internal positive pressure of 30 kPa for five hours. The ambient temperature is also maintained
at 53 °C.

Impact testing

The tanks are filled with a glycol/water mixture and cooled to -40 °C, before being subjected to blows from a pyramid-shaped body with an impact energy of 30 Nm.

Thermal testing

The tanks are filled with water at a temperature of +20 °C, and then placed in a test chamber for one hour at a temperature of +95 °C.

Fire resistance

The tanks are filled with fuel to half their volume and exposed to a naked flame for two minutes.

Related Information

Contact Persons

Rizalina Brillante

Phone: +46 10 516 57 87

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Phone 010-516 50 00, E-mail

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