Fuel tank and component testing

Ensure compliance with established fuel tank testing standards and specific requirements

Ensure compliance with established fuel tank testing standards and specific requirements

Innovative drive concepts are posing new challenges to fuel tank testing of modern vehicle systems. Increasingly efficient combustion engines, different fuel types and alternative drive concepts such as hybrid and electric cars mean that the requirements facing tank systems are constantly changing. These systems and components have to provide a reliable service throughout their service life. As such, the quality demands facing manufacturers and suppliers are high. To fulfil them easily, TÜV SÜD supports you through the individual development and validation phases with a comprehensive range of services.

What is fuel tank testing?

A thorough evaluation of fuel tanks and components for compliance with established fuel tank testing standards and manufacturers’ specific requirements typically includes a number of different tests and assessments. Testing specific fuel tank components as well as the tank itself can include testing for durability, quality, functionality, ageing, refuelling, and materials testing, as well as fuel tank pressure testing and sled tests. Tests are conducted both in line with the wide-ranging specification sheets from the car manufacturers and with international norms and standards (including VDA, DIN, ISO and SAE).

Other tests include a driving simulation and permeation measurement, which is a way to test the fuel tank for emissions. Testing is usually conducted early in the product development process but can also be applied to post-production samples to verify compliance.

Why is fuel tank testing important?

Fuel tank and component testing provides OEMs as well as fuel tank and component suppliers with several benefits:

  • Avoid costly and time-consuming product recalls by identifying performance, safety and quality considerations during the product development process as well as through post-production inspection and testing.
  • Provide your buyers with independent verification of your claims regarding product quality, safety and reliability while working together with and experienced testing laboratory.
  • Ensure that your innovative fuel tank solutions meet strict quality and safety requirements already during the product development phase.
  • Create a competitive advantage over other suppliers by establishing a corporate reputation that stands for quality and safety.

TÜV SÜD is your testing and certification Partner for VEHICLE FUEL TANK TESTING

TÜV SÜD has been the preferred certification partner for many manufacturers in the automotive industry for over a century. Our state-of-the-art testing facilities, professional fuel tank testing equipment, as well as our unique network of technical experts operating worldwide, offer a single source solution for achieving compliance with national regulatory requirements and industry standards. TÜV SÜD technical professionals are actively involved in international standards development activities, providing our clients with the most up-to-date knowledge of current and future requirements for fuel tank testing.

TÜV SÜD has established a world-class automotive laboratory infrastructure that can evaluate and test almost every type of automotive systems and components, including fuel tanks in cars and other vehicles. Additionally, our technical professionals are well-versed in new and emerging automotive technologies, allowing them to provide innovative suppliers with the necessary expertise to evaluate advanced product designs for compliance. With our advanced fuel tank testing procedures, we can ensure that the fuel tank of a new vehicle is operating properly and safely. After successful testing, the product development process can proceed as planned and major issues with the fuel tank during further steps will be less likely.

TÜV SÜD's fuel tank and component testing services

TÜV SÜD tests all fuel tank parts as well as the tank itself. We offer pressure testing for fuel tanks as well as functional testing and examining all relevant fuel tank components. Overall, we provide various services for endurance and application testing:

  • Durability testing

    Durability testing calculates how long a component can safely and reliably perform its function. The component is exposed to several relevant external factors. Among them internal pressure, temperature, and flow. The life cycle of a component can be represented in time lapse. Our durability testing methods use the following fluids: coolant, fuel, oil, and air.

  • Ageing test

    The components built into vehicles go through an ageing process during their service life and this process is influenced by factors such as temperature, type of fuel, coolant, oil, static pressure, and flow. Ageing tests calculate which factors influence the ageing of the fuel tank.

  • Static pressure and temperature test

    This test calculates the ageing of components when influenced by temperature, pressure and fluids such as coolant, fuel, oil, air and others. It is often part of the ageing test.

  • Pressure cycle test on fuel tanks

    This fuel tank test determines the long-term performance of a tank’s individual components. These fuel tank components are exposed to dynamic pressure changes and impacted by temperature and flow. Fluids used in this test are coolant, fuel, oil and air.

  • PVT test

    PVT stands for pressure, vibration and temperature. In this test, components are exposed to different loads at the same time: dynamic pressure changes, different temperatures, flow and vibration or motion. The PVT test simulates the actual situation of various parts when exposed to all factors. Furthermore, it provides reliable information on their durability. PVT tests can be performed using fluids such as coolant, fuel, oil or air. Standard test procedures include SAE J2044, SAE J2045, DIN 73379 and numerous regulations from notable OEMs.

  • Temperature change test

    The temperature change test investigates the behaviour of a component under temperature ranges from -70 °C to +180 °C. The component is constantly monitored as the temperature switches between the high and low values to ensure the component’s operational reliability. Temperature chambers with volumes ranging from 0.8 m³ to 3.5 m³, and temperature gradients up to 6 K/min can be simulated. TÜV SÜD also has chambers that meet the requirements of the European Explosion Protection Directive ATEX for the testing of components with flammable fluids.

  • Climatic test

    Like for temperature change test, the components are exposed to specific temperatures during the climatic test. The benchmark values here are -40 °C and +180 °C. The relative humidity, ranging from 0 to 98%, is also considered as an additional factor. TÜV SÜD uses ultra-modern climate chambers with a volume of 0.8 m³ to 3.5 m³. They offer temperature gradients of up to 4 K/min.

  • Ageing of hoses and pipes

    The impact of ageing on hoses and pipes and pipe systems is measured by exposing them to influences such as temperature and various fluids (including coolant, fuel, oil, air etc.) over the long term. Static pressure and flow are also used as additional variables.

  • Material testing

    In material testing, the test object is subjected to comprehensive leak tests, bursting pressure tests, tension-compression tests, ball drop tests, cold impact tests and fire tests in the laboratory. This allows the reliability, safety and quality of the material used to be determined and shows whether it meets the legal requirements and standards.

  • Flow testing

    Each test that involves the flow of fluid through a component is known as a flow test. This test tends to include the use of temperature, fluid (e.g. coolant, fuel, oil etc.), static pressure and flow.

  • Pressure impulse testing

    The pressure impulse testing exposes components such as pipes, hoses, connectors or fuel tank sensors to high-frequency, dynamic changes in pressure. Additional factors include temperature – both ambient and that of the component itself – and flow-rate. Possible fluids here include coolant, fuel, oil etc.

  • Temperature shock testing

    Temperature shock testing exposes the components to certain fluids such as coolant, fuel, oil, and more. The specific parts of the fuel system are heated to a specific pre-defined temperature. The temperature switches between high and low temperatures within just a few seconds. This is known as temperature shock due to the extreme speed and extreme change in temperature.

  • Refuelling test

    Refuelling test is the term used to describe attempts to refuel the vehicle’s tank in the laboratory. During the test a variety of different filling nozzles and different fuels are tested with the tank system. The fuel temperature – the tank system itself as well as the ambient temperature – varies during refuelling tests. These tests are designed to determine how well or poorly a tank system performs under different conditions.

  • Freeze-thaw testing on 6 AP

    A freeze-thaw test involves testing the freezing and defrosting behaviour of SCR and water tanks. The aim is to calculate their quality and functionality under extreme climate conditions. The tanks are exposed to ambient temperatures ranging from -40 °C to +60 °C.

  • Calculating the ammonia concentration in diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) systems

    Photoacoustic measurements are taken to calculate the ammonia concentration in SCR systems and components.

  • Sealed housing for evaporative determination (SHED)

    When it comes to measuring evaporative emissions, a sealed housing for evaporative determination (SHED) is used. That way it’s possible to reliably measure evaporative emissions from a fuel tank and its components and to measure the hydrocarbon concentration (HC) in rubber and plastic components and tyres.

  • Simulation of dynamic driving conditions

    Dynamic driving conditions are factors like the ambient temperature, pressure, fuel and driving conditions. They can all influence the fuel tank components being tested. These influencing factors are accurately simulated in the laboratory to demonstrate their effects.

  • Sled test

    The term sled test refers to a crash simulation: the test object is mounted on a sled and then exposed to a pre-defined change in speed to simulate the forces that would arise in the case of a crash. The sled test serves to investigate the strength of the fuel tank – both during the development phase and during conformity of production (COP). The temperature and other factors can also be considered in addition to the crash force. The test set-up can include high-speed cameras, acceleration, and pressure sensors.

  • Testing of complete tank systems

    In addition to individual tank components, TÜV SÜD also regularly tests complete tank systems. It is possible to begin testing as early as the development phase, so that any weak spots can be identified and resolved early to cut costs.

  • Homologation testing

    The homologation testing is based on ECE R34 and has been designed to allow for the European-wide approval of vehicle components. TÜV SÜD is familiar with the requirements of the ECE regulation and is happy to advise you on this matter.

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