Ybacpa From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1108 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2966 times:
The answer depends heavily on what type of fuel tank you are referring to- I know nothing about aviation tanks, but, thanks to a very brief stint as a mechanic (VERY BRIEF) in college I might be able to help you, if you are referring to a car.
Condensation in car tanks comes from four possible sources.
1. The most likely- a leaking gas cap.
2. Water in the fuel itself (also common).
3. Leaks in the fuel system itself (not too common). Most cars pump fuel in a loop to prevent it from becoming stagnant, so a leak anywhere in the system could allow water to be returned to the tank.
4. Water condensing on the inside of the tank. Most cars' tanks have a slight vaccuum, to reduce the likelyhood of a leak, however, the fuel used is generally replaced by air from the outside (and usually through the filler cap). Depending on the weather, if a large amount of space is filled with unusually moist air, then the temperature drops, condensation will form. Granted, the amount of condensation on a tank of up to about 20 Gallons is generally negligible.
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Broke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2964 times:
All aircraft fuel tanks are vented to the atmosphere for two reasons; first, if the tank was not vented you would not be able to get fuel out of the tank (just take a straw, put one end in a fluid [your choice] plug the top of the straw with you finger and lift the straw out of the fluid and nothing will come out until you take your finger off the top end, fuel tanks work the same way); two, when you are fueling the tank you could pressurize the tank if it were not vented and inflate the tank this has happened when the volumetric shut-off system did not open back up, inflated wings are very bad things !! I've seen pictures of a F-28 that this happened to.
This flow of air into and out of the tank via the vent system also allows for moisture to enter the tank. Surprisingly, a large quantity of water will accumulate in the tank over time, if not drained.
Racers22 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 175 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2857 times:
When I worked on the line crew at the airport down the street from my house we constantly had to do quick turns on airplanes when it was pooring down rain outside. That is definitely a good way to get plenty of water into your fuel tank!
A/c train From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 501 posts, RR: 4 Reply 8, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2800 times:
The consequences of lack of maintenance and lack of fuel additives is a Form of Corrosion known as Micro-biological corrosion, this is a micro-organism that grows in the moisture traps and it feeds on the tank linings, this type of corrosion it has to be said occurs predominantly in Aluminium integral fuel tanks, the organisms feeding on the tank lining then expose the structure to electrolytic attack and the Galvanic Cell sets up. The organisms are known as 'Cladasporium Resonae,' I think that's how you spell it?, it shows up as a Brown sludge floating in the fuel.
This type of corrosion is also seen around Toilets and Galley areas, with all that undigested and 'Digested' food spillage.
The fungi also feed on the icing inhibitor additive and live on the o2.
Hope that was of interest to the guys who didn't know any of the above !
Saintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2 Reply 10, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 2718 times:
With regard to the corrosion mentioned by A/c Train.
A couple of years ago my company had to carry out repairs on 4 BAE RJ-100s that had returned from lease in Columbia because of the effects of 'Gladis'.
All the wing components and pipes were replaced, most of the front and rear spars and several of the wing skin panels where the corrosion could not be blended out. Some of the corrosion had almost eaten through the skin.
All in all a pretty expensive exercise for a bit of fungus.
FDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 36 Reply 11, posted (10 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2686 times:
As A/c train brought up the subject of fuel tank microbial growth, Airbus had an interesting solution to this on their A300-B4 model.
While working the B4's at Continental during the 1980's, I learned Airbus used radioactive pellets suspended in the fuel tanks which would slowly desolve and prevent or combat microbial growth. As I remember the maintenance manual warned against entry into the tanks without suitable protection.
I'm trying to find my old study guides to refresh my memory on this technique.