Mid-America Transportation Center


Date of this Version


Document Type



Report # MATC-UI: 123 Final Report 25-1121-0001-123


2010 Copyright of Mid-America Transportation Center


The formation of a fuel mist resulting from high shear stresses acting on the fuel during violent sloshing and tank rupture under the energy of a crash severely increases the occurrence and intensity of fires in transportation related accidents. In order to minimize such crash-induced fires, adding long chained polymers to diesel fuel was proposed to arrest the break-up of diesel into a fine mist. Such polymers with specifically engineered properties are intended to impart non-Newtonian characteristics to diesel, which would then alter its flow behavior under the applied shear stresses. As a first step in this direction, calculations are performed to obtain the shear stresses experienced by diesel in a typical diesel engine fuel system. From this, a shear range was identified in which the added polymers should be most active and not affect the normal operation of the engine. In addition, drop impact experiments using high-speed imaging were carried out for diesel to characterize its flow behavior under a wide range of strain rates. Similar tests were performed with other common hydrocarbons to identify an appropriate simulant for diesel. Data generated from these tests enable validation for computer models of diesel drop impacts that are to be developed in the next phase of this project.