Oil & Gas Science and Technology (Feb 2015)

Permeability of EVOH Barrier Material Used in Automotive Applications: Metrology Development for Model Fuel Mixtures

  • Zhao Jing,
  • Kanaan Charbel,
  • Clément Robert,
  • Brulé Benoît,
  • Lenda Henri,
  • Jonquières Anne

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 70, no. 2
pp. 353 – 366


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EVOH (Ethylene-Vinyl Alcohol) materials are widely used in automotive applications in multi-layer fuel lines and tanks owing to their excellent barrier properties to aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons. These barrier materials are essential to limit environmental fuel emissions and comply with the challenging requirements of fast changing international regulations. Nevertheless, the measurement of EVOH permeability to model fuel mixtures or to their individual components is particularly difficult due to the complexity of these systems and their very low permeability, which can vary by several orders of magnitude depending on the permeating species and their relative concentrations. This paper describes the development of a new automated permeameter capable of taking up the challenge of measuring minute quantities as low as 1 mg/(m2.day) for partial fluxes for model fuel mixtures containing ethanol, i-octane and toluene at 50°C. The permeability results are discussed as a function of the model fuel composition and the importance of EVOH preconditioning is emphasized for accurate permeability measurements. The last part focuses on the influence of EVOH conditioning on its mechanical properties and its microstructure, and further illustrates the specific behavior of EVOH in presence of ethanol oxygenated fuels. The new metrology developed in this work offers a new insight in the permeability properties of a leading barrier material and will help prevent the consequences of (bio)ethanol addition in fuels on environmental emissions through fuel lines and tanks.