Applications / Automotive / History of the multilayer fuel tank

Automotive

EVAL™ enables to produce lighter fuel tanks with very low evaporative emissions.

Kuraray: pioneering technology for barrier plastic fuel systems

In the 1980’s, automobile brand owners brought together component manufacturers, material suppliers (Kuraray’s EVAL™group) and vehicle engineers to create a solution to up and coming government regulations in the Americas around emissions. These regulations are now known as the Clean Air Act and California Air Resource Board (CARB) and the more recent LEV II and LEV III regulations. To learn more about emissions standards and current regulations visit our Emissions Regulations page.

A short history of Plastic Fuel Tanks

1970s: The first plastic fuel tank is developed in Europe for Diesel Engines. The tank is mono-layer made from HDPE.

1980s: United States automakers begin development of the first multilayer plastic fuel tanks using EVAL™ as the barrier layer

1990: The Clean Air Act is passed by the United States

1993: The first multi-layer, EVAL™ barrier structure fuel tank hits production in the United States

1994: The CARB Low Emission Vehicle Regulations are passed known as LEV regulations. The monolayer fuel tank does not meet requirements for LEV I, pushing automakers to prefer multilayer fuel tanks.

2003: LEV II comes into effect for vehicles.

2004: PZEV comes into effect for vehicles.

2000s: Automotive makers continue to internalize components into the fuel tank, making plastic the ideal choice for fabrication.

2014: LEV III comes into effect for vehicles, pushing automobile makers to develop even more emissions friendly vehicles.

Today, the multi-layer plastic fuel tank containing EVAL™ is currently found in over 90% of automobiles in North America. Along with our success in the fuel tank market, Kuraray materials can be found in fuel tubes (EVAL™), wire harnesses (GENESTAR™) and other under-the-hood materials. Below you can find the current market for plastic fuel tanks.