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Author Topic: Plastic Tank problems: Discussion thread, see info thread sticky for updates  (Read 397613 times)
fastwin
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« Reply #1140 on: November 29, 2010, 01:51:07 PM »

I still don't get it. Acerbis has been making plastic tanks for years. How could they have make the beast with two backsed up this bad. For Christ sake they are in the plastic tank manufacturing business. Don't they know what goes in their product and the changes in gasoline all over the world? Gas is nowhere close to what it was 10-20 years ago. I think Acerbis is the one living under a rock. What about the other bike companies that they make tanks for? Have they been having the same problems as Ducati? I honestly haven't heard.

I have cheap old plastic 1-5 gallon gas cans at home and at my farm. They are always full of gasoline and I have never ever had any problems with them even with today's shitty ethanol laced gas. How is it my cheap ass old gas cans are fine and the expensive Duc replacement tanks for my S2R1000 and Sport 1000 crap out in a matter of months? My original tanks (I have not had them replaced) have some minor swelling but I think the reason they haven't totally crapped out is because I am a faithful Sta-Bil user and I use the long term storage double dose treatment. I personally think it has helped.

Like I said before, I just don't get it. Angry
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« Reply #1141 on: November 29, 2010, 02:49:27 PM »

I still don't get it. Acerbis has been making plastic tanks for years. How could they have make the beast with two backsed up this bad. For Christ sake they are in the plastic tank manufacturing business. Don't they know what goes in their product and the changes in gasoline all over the world? Gas is nowhere close to what it was 10-20 years ago. I think Acerbis is the one living under a rock. What about the other bike companies that they make tanks for? Have they been having the same problems as Ducati? I honestly haven't heard.

Acerbis' primary market has been offroad bikes with tanks made of HDPE.  This nylon material is the first use of its kind that I know of.  Gasoline in Europe currently has 0% or 5% ethanol depending on grade, but MOST places don't use it at all.  France is the only country with 10% ethanol in gasoline and that is very recently.

Acerbis makes nylon tank for MV, Triumph, KTM and others.  Yes, they are now showing up with issues.

Quote
I have cheap old plastic 1-5 gallon gas cans at home and at my farm. They are always full of gasoline and I have never ever had any problems with them even with today's shitty ethanol laced gas. How is it my cheap ass old gas cans are fine and the expensive Duc replacement tanks for my S2R1000 and Sport 1000 crap out in a matter of months? My original tanks (I have not had them replaced) have some minor swelling but I think the reason they haven't totally crapped out is because I am a faithful Sta-Bil user and I use the long term storage double dose treatment. I personally think it has helped.

Like I said before, I just don't get it. Angry

that tank is probably blow molded HDPE.  it's the gold standard for gasoline, but you can't paint it to a finish like a Ducati gas tank.

The under-seat tank on a Hypermotard 1100 is HDPE. 
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« Reply #1142 on: November 29, 2010, 03:57:01 PM »

<snip>

that tank is probably blow molded HDPE.  it's the gold standard for gasoline, but you can't paint it to a finish like a Ducati gas tank.

 
Who says?

Get me a blow molded HDPE tank...

I'd love to prove you wrong. Wink

The only issues with painting any plastic is adhesion. There are materials to solve that. Now if the adhesion issues are due to the material 'sweating' fuel, as with PEX, all bets are off.

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« Reply #1143 on: November 29, 2010, 03:58:45 PM »

Who says?

Get me a blow molded HDPE tank...

I'd love to prove you wrong. Wink

The only issues with painting any plastic is adhesion. There are materials to solve that. Now if the adhesion issues are due to the material 'sweating' fuel, as with PEX, all bets are off.

what I 'have been told' is that mass producing HDPE tanks to the same aesthetic specification as the current nylon tanks is cost prohibitive and hard to do.
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« Reply #1144 on: November 29, 2010, 04:07:28 PM »

what I 'have been told' is that mass producing HDPE tanks to the same aesthetic specification as the current nylon tanks is cost prohibitive and hard to do.
Cost prohibitive?

They've sold you a bill of goods counselor....just sayin'.

While I'm not a manufacturing engineer, I'd know the surface quality of anything molded is better than a weldment. The labor costs of manufacturing/finishing steel tanks is cost prohibitive.

With all the money they saved from not producing steel tanks the added cost would still be cheap.

That's where the cost accountants make enginerds look bad and cause people to believe the company is greedy.

And 'hard to do'? I'm a painter...it isn't hard. It's like anything else... 90% process and 10% talent.

Get me a job with Acerbis...I'll show them how easy it is. Grin
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"Never provoke old men. They can’t run and they won’t be beaten. All they have left is to shoot you.”


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« Reply #1145 on: November 29, 2010, 05:40:54 PM »

Cost prohibitive?

They've sold you a bill of goods counselor....just sayin'.

no, i didn't get that from Ducati, I got it from other sources.

the issue with HDPE tanks is that they expand and contract by design during hot and cold as a function of the material.  Nylon tanks do not expand (except when exposed to water).  They are actually VERY dimensionally stable when heated.  Take an HDPE tank, fill it with gasoline, heat it a little and shake it.  It will begin to deform.  Do the same with a Nylon tank, and it won't.  Obviously, you have venting on both, but we are talking about "worst case scenario." 

HDPE also has other issue with EPA's SHED testing which make it less ideal, but apparently the under-seat tank on the HMT is HDPE (but it's unpainted!)

Quote
While I'm not a manufacturing engineer, I'd know the surface quality of anything molded is better than a weldment. The labor costs of manufacturing/finishing steel tanks is cost prohibitive.

With all the money they saved from not producing steel tanks the added cost would still be cheap.

That's where the cost accountants make enginerds look bad and cause people to believe the company is greedy.

And 'hard to do'? I'm a painter...it isn't hard. It's like anything else... 90% process and 10% talent.

Get me a job with Acerbis...I'll show them how easy it is. Grin

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« Reply #1146 on: November 29, 2010, 07:21:33 PM »

Really interesting stuff said here. waytogo Reason 1,518 why I love this forum! applause
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The fact that flame throwers exist is proof that someone somewhere said "I'd sure like to set those people over there on fire but I'm just not close enough to get the job done."

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« Reply #1147 on: November 29, 2010, 08:46:44 PM »

I am going to have to disagree with you on that last point.  As far as I understand, it was Acerbis' responsibility to test the tanks with fuel in Ducati's markets.  That doesn't change who you have to go to for a new tank or satisfaction though, but I would not characterize their actions as "greed driven" especially in light of the fact that they are replacing gas tanks for out-of-warranty bikes and bikes owned by subsequent purchasers (non-original owners).

And that is me, the attorney with my finger on the trigger for a (second) lawsuit against Ducati.

If you look at their actions since this whole thing started, I see a company either fighting with itself or running around with cranio-rectal inversion, but trying to do something positive.

I agree there is some dumb-assery involved given the prevalence of ethanol in gasoline in the USA, and Ducati has the legal responsibility to ensure their tanks are compatible.  But I don't see it as greed. 

Hopefully this/these lawsuit(s) will give them the kick in the ass they need to make public their plans for long term.  They can't replace these tanks forever.



Well, perhaps not 'entirely' greed, but Ducati is holding to part and parcel of the NHTSA law which states that a fuel supply component, when found faulty will be replaced up to 5 years after initial date of purchase.  I believe this is for motorcycles only, (and if I were diligent, I'd find the source of that data, but I believe it's accurate).

Either way, the downside is that the replacement tanks will deform again in NA, given our dicey fuel recipe.  After that, it's buyer beware, because those tanks won't be cheap for the owners to buy.
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« Reply #1148 on: November 29, 2010, 10:11:11 PM »

ok,.......so 696/1100 style.

internal tank made of whatever is best able to handle the E10 (or other) issues

external skin made of whatever will a)paint well b)stand up to normal wear and tear c)mold to fit as needed.

<going to go wait by the phone for the job offer from DNA...>
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« Reply #1149 on: November 30, 2010, 04:49:47 AM »

Well, perhaps not 'entirely' greed, but Ducati is holding to part and parcel of the NHTSA law which states that a fuel supply component, when found faulty will be replaced up to 5 years after initial date of purchase.  I believe this is for motorcycles only, (and if I were diligent, I'd find the source of that data, but I believe it's accurate).

Either way, the downside is that the replacement tanks will deform again in NA, given our dicey fuel recipe.  After that, it's buyer beware, because those tanks won't be cheap for the owners to buy.

Ducati is replacing tanks long after the 5 year/ 18,000 mile warranty is expired.  My bike is an '05 S2R and well over the mileage and it was replaced no questions.

Ducati is also replacing tanks for 2nd purchasers. 

I believe there will be a solution forthcoming, just not overnight.
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« Reply #1150 on: November 30, 2010, 05:03:35 AM »

no, i didn't get that from Ducati, I got it from other sources.

the issue with HDPE tanks is that they expand and contract by design during hot and cold as a function of the material.  Nylon tanks do not expand (except when exposed to water).  They are actually VERY dimensionally stable when heated.  Take an HDPE tank, fill it with gasoline, heat it a little and shake it.  It will begin to deform.  Do the same with a Nylon tank, and it won't.  Obviously, you have venting on both, but we are talking about "worst case scenario." 

HDPE also has other issue with EPA's SHED testing which make it less ideal, but apparently the under-seat tank on the HMT is HDPE (but it's unpainted!)


Steel expands and contracts with temperature too. Dimensionally it expands uniformly. Are you saying HDPE expands otherwise?

I understand Ducati's, or any manufacturers reasoning for moving away from steel for tanks. It does seem that with all the talk of aluminum being the replacement on SBKs, also a poor choice IMO for ethanol fuel unless coated, and the failure of the contractor to deliver a serviceable product this whole thing wasn't particularly well thought out.
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"Once you accept that a child on the autistic spectrum experiences the world in
 a completely different way than you, you will be open to understand how that
 perspective
    is even more amazing than yours."
    To realize the value of nine  months:
    Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.
"Never provoke old men. They can’t run and they won’t be beaten. All they have left is to shoot you.”


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« Reply #1151 on: November 30, 2010, 07:05:46 AM »

Steel expands and contracts with temperature too. Dimensionally it expands uniformly. Are you saying HDPE expands otherwise?

Steel expands and contracts but it is a limited contraction and the rigidity of the material prevents the structure from contracting beyond its original shape except in the presence of immense vacuum.

HDPE can contract beyond the original shape.  That's why you will see a plastic gas can with the sides shrunk in when it gets cold.  That doesn't happen on steel containers.

The way I understand paint is that it can handle limited expansion and stretch, but any significant contraction will cause problems.

Either way, the likelyhood of an HDPE replacement tank coming is unlikely.  I think a coating is more likely, they just have to find one that works for everyone involved.
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« Reply #1152 on: November 30, 2010, 07:18:29 AM »

Steel expands and contracts but it is a limited contraction and the rigidity of the material prevents the structure from contracting beyond its original shape except in the presence of immense vacuum.

HDPE can contract beyond the original shape.  That's why you will see a plastic gas can with the sides shrunk in when it gets cold.  That doesn't happen on steel containers.

The way I understand paint is that it can handle limited expansion and stretch, but any significant contraction will cause problems.

Either way, the likelyhood of an HDPE replacement tank coming is unlikely.  I think a coating is more likely, they just have to find one that works for everyone involved.
Are HDPE fuel tanks as thin as gas cans?

Wouldn't the material thickness affect the uncontrolled expansion to some degree?

Paint can have more elasticity than you'd believe. They add a 'flex' additive to paint used on urethane bumpers so they can take deformation without cracking.

That said...it appears to be academic at this point.

I just hope that cool heads prevail on both sides of the suit/s so everyone's best inteest is served.
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"Once you accept that a child on the autistic spectrum experiences the world in
 a completely different way than you, you will be open to understand how that
 perspective
    is even more amazing than yours."
    To realize the value of nine  months:
    Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.
"Never provoke old men. They can’t run and they won’t be beaten. All they have left is to shoot you.”


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« Reply #1153 on: November 30, 2010, 08:42:47 AM »

Are HDPE fuel tanks as thin as gas cans?

Wouldn't the material thickness affect the uncontrolled expansion to some degree?

Oo!  Oo!! I know this one, Kotter!

A motorcycle gas tank has to be able to pass crash testing.  This is one area where bike tanks differ from cars -- well, the type of testing I mean.

Nylon can go pretty thick and still have an immense amount of flexibility.  HDPE gets stiffer and stiffer as you thicken it.  I am hypothesizing here, but something tells me once HDPE gets thick enough to prevent the expansion/contraction that it doesn't have enough flexibility.

You can hit the nylon tanks with a hammer all day and not only will it not dent, you won't ever break it.  HDPE will shatter.  They have a type of "layered" HDPE but I don't know enough about it.


Quote
Paint can have more elasticity than you'd believe. They add a 'flex' additive to paint used on urethane bumpers so they can take deformation without cracking.

That said...it appears to be academic at this point.

I just hope that cool heads prevail on both sides of the suit/s so everyone's best interest is served.

amen
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« Reply #1154 on: November 30, 2010, 04:25:37 PM »

..........In order to make a tank that doesn't have this problem they must:

1.  Find a coating that will seal properly and not affect homologation

OR

2.  Pay everyone some amount of money to get their newly-replaced tanks coated by the dealer with anything they want -- individual owners are not bound by homologation requirements.

OR

3.  Come up with a new formulation of nylon or some other plastic that has the same external properties and does not affect homologation.......

I am not sure I totally buy into this homologation argument.  Why can't DP come up with a "high performance" tank, either plastic or metal, as an aftermarket part just as they have with the 1198S?  That 1198S aluminum tank probably did not have to go through this homologation exercise.  Ducati can sell this aftermarket tank for say $1600, and also offer a one time "promotion" where if you trade in your current tank, you get the new one for free.  Sure it is a "wink wink" deal, but wouldn't that solve the problem?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 04:28:29 PM by slower than... » Logged

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