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NIRCOS PLASTIC TANK STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY CHECK

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241985D
Publication Date: 2015-Jun-11
Document File: 1 page(s) / 213K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database

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NIRCOS PLASTIC TANK STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY CHECK

PHEV vehicles have a sealed fuel tank. FTIV valve is normally closed valve that seals the fuel tank. The Fuel tank is made of heavy steel to withstand huge pressures and vacuum builds from the diurnal temperature cycle.PHEV have sealed fuel tanks due to limited engine run time. If tanks were vented, prolonged battery mode driving would overload the canister and emit hydrocarbons to atmosphere. In order to reduce vehicle weight and improve battery life/fuel economy, future NIRCOS tanks will be made out of plastic. Since plastic can deform when subjected to intense pressures and vapors from diurnal temperature cycle, standoff structural supports are placed inside the plastic NIRCOS fuel tank. The standoffs provide rigidity to the sealed plastic fuel tank. It protects the fuel tank from deformation during extreme heat and cold.A major concern with plastic tank design is in case of an accident, the standoffs may break. If this occurs, then the tank supports are compromised and diurnal cooling or heating can damage the plastic fuel tank and cause liquid fuel to spill.

Method

This method provides a diagnostic for the standoff supports in plastic NIRCOS fuel tanks. The diagnostic uses existing sensors to infer standoff structural integrity. An additional FLI sensor is useful to complete the diagnostic (dependent on tank geometry; e.g. the figure below illustrates FLI1 on the left and FLI2 on the right). The method infers standoff breakage from tank deformation...