The 1998 Dodge Ram pickup meets 1999 Clean Air Act Standards, thanks to an elastomer/fluoropolymer composite. The material, developed for a fuel-filler neck, offers permeation resistance to liquid and vapor released during the fuel-filling process. The new design, called E-P-CAP(reg), also dissipates static charge, resists chemical attack, and can operate in temperatures up to 149C (300F).
E-P-CAP, produced by Pilot Industries Inc. (Dexter, MI), debuted on more than 400,000 of the pickups beginning last July. Each vehicle uses a fuel-fill hose and fuel-vent hose made of the composite. The hose's outer layer consists of Vamac(reg) ethylene acrylic elastomer, supplied by DuPont Dow Elastomers L.L.C. (Wilmington, DE), with a 0.2-mm inner layer of Tefzel(reg) EFTE (ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene) fluoropolymer, from DuPont Fluoroproducts (Wilmington, DE).
E-P-CAP employs an electrically conductive grade of Tefzel that dissipates static charge created during fuel filling, ensuring safety. "Flexibility is crucial to a fuel-fill system's success in a truck application for several reasons, including ease of assembly, crash safety, and its ability to accommodate the relative motion between body and frame," reports Ed Krause, Pilot's manager of research and development.