Underwriters Laboratories says it will accept requests for certification investigations for gaskets and seals for use with concentrated ethanol-blended fuels such as E85. UL says it is on track to accept E85 dispenser products for testing by year-end 2007.
In order to develop the requirements that will be used for certification, UL conducted a gasket and seal ethanol-blended fuel compatibility research program. The objective of the research was to subject various materials to a variety of test conditions with ethanol-blended fuels and to assess the effects of those fuels on the materials.
The results of UL's research indicate that certain commercially available gasket and seal materials formulated for E-85 pump use can be expected to perform acceptably when exposed to motor vehicle fuels blended with high concentrations of ethanol, including those that contain an optional corrosion inhibitor additive. However, some materials experienced significant deterioration during the research tests.
The results, say UL officials, confirm the necessity of establishing safety requirements for E85 dispensers that take into account the long-term effects of exposure to ethanol. To meet its plans to complete research and development of certification requirements by year's end, UL will accept product submissions for E85 dispensers.