Self-seling fuel cells

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Maxrobot1, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    From what I understand, WWII self-sealing fuel cells were made from layers of rubber (or early synthetic rubber) laminated with something gooey in between. They added to the weight of the A/C and reduced the tankage compared to non-self sealed cells.
    In Warbird restoration, how do you deal with delaminating cells that are rotting, decomposing or just rotten?
    In the F4U Corsair the fuel cell is easy to get at but some had them built inside the wings or in the fuselage where they are inaccessible. I know replacement cells can be made (A subsidiary of my former employer, Meggitt, makes fuel cells) but do you just give up and leave some rotten tanks in place?
     
  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Nothing is inaccessible, just hard to get to.
    If it was assembled at the factory, it can be disassembled.
     
  3. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Self-sealing tanks have multiple layers of rubber and reinforcing fabric, one of vulcanized rubber and one of untreated natural rubber that can absorb oil and expand when wet. When a fuel tank is punctured, the fuel will seep into the layers, causing the swelling of the untreated layer, thus sealing the puncture.
    If the restoration is cosmetic (display only) why would anyone care or even notice if the tank had been replaced. If the restoration is to fly again why bother with self-sealing tanks? No one is going to be shooting at you
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I don;t know of any warbirds that have new, self-sealing fuel cells. They are redone with standard fuel cells since, as said earlier, they aren't getting shot at by anyone.
     
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