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A fuel tank is a safe container for flammable liquids. Although any fuel storage tank can be named, the term is generally applied to those parts of the engine system where fuel is stored and driven (fuel pump) or delivered to the engine (pressurized gas). Fuel tanks range in size and complexity from small plastic tanks for butane lighters to external tanks for multi-chamber cryogenic space shuttles.
Fuel Tank Construction
Most tanks are crafted, but some are made by metal craftsmen or, in the case of bladder tanks, by hand. This includes custom and aftermarket fuel tanks for cars, airplanes, motorcycles, boats and even tractors. The construction of a tank farm follows a number of specific steps.
Craftsmen often create models to determine the exact size and shape of the tank. It is usually made of foam boards. Next, address design issues that affect the tank structure (vents, drains, level gauges, seams, baffles, etc.). Next, the craftsman must determine the thickness, temper, and alloy of the sheet metal that will be used to make the tank. After cutting the sheet metal to the desired shape, fold the various pieces to form the base cover and/or tank end and baffle.
The baffles of many fuel tanks (particularly airplanes and racing cars) have holes for lightning. These flange holes serve two purposes. Reduces tank weight while increasing deflector strength. At the end of the build, fuel filler ports, fuel rails, drains, and fuel level transfer units were added.
These holes can be created in the flat cover or added at the end of the manufacturing process.
Baffle and edges can be riveted. Riveted heads are often soldered or brazed to prevent tank leaks. The ends can then be crimped and welded, flanged and welded (and/or sealed with an epoxy sealant), or the ends can be flanged and then welded. After the welding, brazing, or soldering is complete, the tank is checked for leaks.
In the aerospace industry, the use of fuel tank sealants is a common application for high temperature integrated fuel tanks. It has excellent resistance to fluids such as water, alcohol, synthetic oils and petroleum based hydraulic fluids.
Types of Fuel Tanks
1) Rigid Removable Fuel Tank
Many aircraft, especially older ones, use a clear choice of tank design. Rigid tanks are made of different materials and attached to the fuselage structure. Tanks are usually riveted or welded and may include baffles and other tank features. They are usually made of 3003 or 5052 aluminum alloy or stainless steel, riveted and welded to prevent leakage.
2) Bladder Fuel Tanks
Instead of a rigid fuel tank, you can use a fuel tank made from a reinforced flexible material called a bladder tank. The bladder tank contains most of the features and components of a rigid tank but does not require a very large opening to fit into an aircraft skin. Fuel tanks or fuel cells, sometimes referred to as fuel cells, can be rolled up and placed through small openings, such as inspection ports, into specially prepared structural compartments or cavities.
Once inside you can zoom to full size. The airbag canister must be attached to the frame with clips or other fasteners. They should be wrinkle-free and lie flat in the bay. It is particularly important that the floor is wrinkle-free so that no fuel contamination settles in the tank pan.
Airbag fuel tanks are used on aircraft of all sizes. They’re tough and durable, and have stitching only around the parts they’re attached to, such as the headband. B. Tank vents, oil pan drains and filler necks. If the bladder tank has a leak, the technician can repair it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
3) Integral Fuel Tanks
Many aircraft, particularly transport aircraft and high-performance aircraft, have a portion of the wing or fuselage structure sealed with a two-part fuel resistant sealant to form a fuel tank. Sealed shells and structural elements provide the lightest and most usable volume of space. This type of fuel tank is called an integrated fuel tank because it forms a fuel tank as a unit within the fuselage structure.