Ford Capless Fuel Filler System Captures Consumers’ Heart and an Industry Innovation Nomination
A new “capless” fuel filler system for the 2008 Ford Flex, Escape, F150, Expedition and Lincoln MKS vehicles is honored as a finalist in the Society of Plastics Engineers Most Innovative Use of Plastics Award in the chassis/powertrain category. The final winners will be honored at an event Nov. 20.
Originally introduced in North America on the Ford GT, the Ford innovation is upgraded in this rendition, manufactured by Martinrea using DuPont™ Zytel® HTN PPA, to integrate a Mis-Fuel Inhibitor (MFI) that ensures only the proper fuel type can be dispensed into the vehicle.
The system is much touted as a consumer delighter because it eliminates the need for the operator to remove and replace the fuel cap, while also protecting vehicles from paint scratches that result from a dangling fuel cap. “The desire was to simplify the unloved refueling process,” said David Gabbey, director of research and development, Martinrea International Inc. “With this system, consumers can spend less time at the pump, keep their hands cleaner and now are assured that the wrong fuel type won’t get into the tank, which is especially important in situations where vehicles are shared.”
The new system is compatible with aggressive fuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol, and supports the compliance of Ford’s vehicles to all California Low Emission Vehicle (LEV II or PZEV) requirements. Importantly, this system could further reduce emissions relative to capped systems because the fuel neck isn’t opened until the fuel pump nozzle is inserted. When capless fueling is completed, the nozzle is removed and the system seals shut automatically, helping to minimize evaporative emissions.
The system also integrates the vacuum relief function with the fuel sealing door to reduce cost and complexity. Plus it features optimized geometry for the fuel outlet to direct fuel flow for consistent, trouble-free refueling.
Zytel® HTN PPA was selected because of its favorable impact and permeation resistance as well as its compatibility with ultrasonic welding, a first in this application. Operator instructions and serial numbers are laser etched into the material. “The use of laser etching for permanent part marking required a unique grade of Zytel® HTN which did not compromise weld strength or impact resistance,” said Daniel Cunkle, head of capless development at Martinrea.
DuPont Automotive Performance Materials specializes in application development, operating globally and using a broad range of high-performance materials and technology to help customers reduce weight and cost while improving performance of components and systems in powertrain, driveline, chassis, fuel, electrical/electronic and interior/exterior vehicle systems.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
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Caption: A new “capless” fuel filler system for the 2008 Ford Flex, Escape, F150, Expedition and Lincoln MKS vehicles delights consumers and helps protect the environment by minimizing evaporative emissions during fueling.