APRIL 2011

Strategic Alliance for Steel Fuel Tanks discusses lightweight fuel tanks

To demonstrate effective, low mass designs for steel-intensive fuel tanks of future vehicles, representatives from the Strategic Alliance for Steel Fuel Tanks (SASFT) presented “An Approach for Developing Lightweight Steel Tanks for Advanced Hybrid Electric Vehicles” at the ITB Group’s Automotive Energy Storage and Fuel Systems conference in Novi, Michigan.

David Anderson of the Steel Market Development Institute, and Danet Surytama of EDAG Inc., discussed the benefits of steel fuel tanks and the design optimization methodology used to support the global lightweighting project called FutureSteelVehicle (FSV), a WorldAutoSteel program. FSV aims to develop lightweight advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) body structures to reduce emissions over the total vehicle life cycle. The FSV project will officially release fully engineered, steel-intensive designs of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle designs in May 2011 to demonstrate steel’s environmental benefits.

“Steel fuel tanks provide cost-effective, lightweight, zero emissions solutions for advanced hybrid vehicles,” Anderson said. “According to results of the SASFT project, AHSS reduces the mass and thickness of steel tanks of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, while also providing the necessary rigidity to handle the pressure-vacuum requirements of today’s standards. For pressurized fuel tank applications, steel’s superior strength, stiffness and design flexibility are unmatched by any other fuel tank material.”

The two-day ITB event featured technologies to meet LEV III requirements with alcohol containing fuels, fuel tanks, lines and vapor management systems. Other conference highlights included legislative developments and alternative energy storage systems for renewable fuels, electricity and hydrogen.

In addition to presenting at the conference, SASFT highlighted benefits of the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Highlander steel fuel tanks at its exhibit.