Plastic jerry can for fuel tank

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by jany77, Aug 3, 2019.

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  1. Aug 3, 2019 #1

    jany77

    jany77

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    Hi guys I m looking for plastic jerry can for my ultralight ,but as I found im limited with dimensions ,i found few on ebay but they all are made to carry a water some even have it stamped on ,the jerry can for gas are just way too big or not the right size ,my friend mention something about static electricity and I should not use anything else but can made to carry gasoline any advise on that .Thank you
     
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  2. Aug 3, 2019 #2
  3. Aug 3, 2019 #3

    pictsidhe

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    What size do you need? There is a variety on the market. Walmart carries a cheaper version of the no-spill cans that I'm quite tempted by. They have a large filler neck. I would like to use a pair of 2 1/2 gallon tanks. They will be easier to carry and install. There are also marine tanks with lines already plumbed in.
    I would avoid water tanks, they may not be made of a suitable plastic. Or they could have an incompatible gasket somewhere. The usual gasket material for water is EPDM, which is not usuable with gasoline.
     
  4. Aug 3, 2019 #4

    bmcj

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    Are you looking for one you can install as a fuel tank in your plane, or one to use for fueling your plane?

    For fueling, I bought the water jugs they sell for racing cars and bikes... big hose and good venting so the gas flows quickly... no need to strong arm the can over your head for several minutes waiting for the fuel to slowly glug-glug-glug throw a small hose.
     
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  5. Aug 3, 2019 #5

    FritzW

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    If you haven't already, try searching "plastic fuel tank" or "plastic fuel cell' instead of "gas can". The prices go way up but so do the choices.

    Jaz Products has some options...
     
  6. Aug 3, 2019 #6

    SVSUSteve

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    I really hope it's the latter because I've seen a seemingly sturdy thick-walled plastic "jerry" can burst open along a "seam" (where the mold came together during production) from falling off the tailgate of a truck when the driver forgot it was there and drove off.
     
  7. Aug 4, 2019 #7

    FritzW

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  8. Aug 4, 2019 #8

    cdlwingnut

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  9. Aug 4, 2019 #9

    Winginitt

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    I can foresee a multitude of problems with using a cheap plastic gas can for an aircraft fuel tank. Most of those problems can result in ruining your life. A fuel tank is not the place to look for a cheap solution. Why not try finding an aluminum fuel cell on eBay. Then you can use solid and secure AN or Jic fittings and hose and have a decent chance of fuel retention during a less than ideal landing.
     
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  10. Aug 4, 2019 #10

    pictsidhe

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    I work at a factory that makes blow moulded RV sewerage tote tanks. I run the blow moulder when the regular guy takes a break or a day off. I suspect I may know a thing or two about blow moulded tanks, though we don't make gas cans.
    If properly made, they do not split, even if you wade in with an axe. Pressure testing will find the duds. Every one of our sewer tanks is pressure tested and visually inspected, I'd assume that gas cans are too.

    Plastic degrades in sunlight. If you leave your can out in the light, throw it away after a year. I'd put money on that split can being an old, faded one. I've broken gas cans that I've not given a sheltered life. There's even enough daylight peeking through the clouds in wales to rot them after 5 years. Never broken one that was kept out of the light. The UV stabilised colour that we use for sewer tanks is rated for two years outdoors...

    A plastic tank that hasn't been irradiated with excess sunshine or gamma rays is a remarkably tough thing. It's also cheap enough to replace should you park your aircraft outside a lot. If it starts looking faded or cracked, replace it. If I use plastic tanks, I'd make a cap that took the necessary lines. Then I can swap caps and it becomes a can for lugging gas to the aircraft. If I don't use a plastic tank, it will probably be because I can't find one the right shape...

    They are safe, if you either look after them or replace when they start looking distressed.
     
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  11. Aug 4, 2019 #11

    SVSUSteve

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    The key words: if properly made. It sounds like the concern here is far more cost than durability. Cheap and "properly made" don't normally line up. There are plenty of better plastic options (if you're of the mentality I get a depressing sense of job security from) than a plastic gas can. We're not in the 1960s anymore and following the "Look what I cobbled together from random bits and bobs laying around my garage to plug into my aircraft" mentality (which should have died out around the time with Bingelis) is no longer necessary because you can buy far better options off the shelf. Or you can build a better one out of fiberglass if you want to fashion something.

    Just because you CAN do something and get away with it does not make it an example to be followed.
     
  12. Aug 4, 2019 #12

    SVSUSteve

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    Exactly. The freedom we have as homebuilders should be used to IMPROVE designs and efficiency NOT as was to cut corners.
     
  13. Aug 4, 2019 #13

    pictsidhe

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    Fibreglass is a poor example. Plastic tanks are much more crash resistant than they are. Fibreglass tanks were so prone to splitting after motorcycle crashes that they were banned in the UK. Plastic tanks have utterly failed to emulate that feature, or immolate hapless riders.
    Take a hammer to a plastic tank and a fibreglass tank and see which lasts longer.
    Just because something is cheap, does not make it bad.
     
  14. Aug 4, 2019 #14

    litespeed

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    Do not equate a super thin motorcycle racing tank with a properly designed and made composite tank for a aircraft.

    It is entirely possible to make a extremely strong composite tank that will not split or shatter and leak fuel.

    In fact I seem to remember Steve worked on such a tank.

    Please educate us on this Steve and provide some pics/examples.

    Phil
     
  15. Aug 4, 2019 #15

    Riggerrob

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    ——————————————————————————

    What type of plastic feed-stock do you use?
     
  16. Aug 4, 2019 #16

    Riggerrob

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    ——————————————————————-

    What are your limiting dimensions?
     
  17. Aug 4, 2019 #17

    Mark Schoening

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    Several people have simply used quality boat tanks. Simple ready made solution.
     
  18. Aug 4, 2019 #18

    pictsidhe

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    The blow moulded tanks are HDPE. They have pre moulded inserts for the hose fittings that are made from a different grade of HDPE. Elsewhere, we use yet another grade of HDPE for other mouldings. Plus PC, nylon, three x PP, ABS and EPDM. Could be others too that I haven't come across yet. HDPE is permeable to gasoline, so the EPA would not like it. The basic tank is resistant to gasoline, but there is at least one EPDM seal on fittings. We make those seals...
    Everything has be set just so, and will drift, but seams not sticking is never a problem. It will fail to properly fill the details in the mould long, long before it won't stick. I sometimes fill in for the guy who cuts up the tails and bad parts, so have sectioned a good few, too.
     
  19. Aug 4, 2019 #19

    pictsidhe

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    I think it's fair to assume that plastic gas cans have to meet some safety standard and be suitable for the job. They carry a dangerous fluid and are routinely abused. To reduce HC emissions, the current ones have to withstand 5psi before venting. I trust them far more than someone's first attempt at fibreglass. I've seen someone here not want to pressure test a fabricated tank to the lower FAA recommended pressure as he didn't think his tank would take it...
     
  20. Aug 4, 2019 #20

    bmcj

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    The problem with blow molding is that it can leave thin spots in the far corners. Rotational mounding does a better job of maintaining a uniform thickness.
     
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