Motor vehicle fuel tank and method

  • US 6,338,420 B1
  • Filed: 03/23/2000
  • Issued: 01/15/2002
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/08/1999
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A plastic fuel tank for a motor vehicle comprising:

  • a hollow plastic tank body having a bottom and a top which expands and collapses relative to the bottom in respective ones of a pressure cycle and a vacuum cycle in the tank body, a plastic strut in the hollow tank body having an upper foot fusion bonded to the top of the tank body and a lower foot fusion bonded to the bottom of the tank body, and a coupling means on the plastic strut operable to support the upper foot on the lower foot for relative linear translation parallel to a longitudinal centerline of the plastic strut in an expansion direction from a height (H) of the strut and in an opposite collapse direction from the height (H) of the strut against a resisting force in each direction and to effectively stop translation of the upper foot relative to the lower foot in the expansion direction at an expanded height (H1) of the strut and in the collapse direction at a collapsed height (H2) of the strut so that the plastic strut resists expansion and collapse of the top of tank body relative to the bottom of the tank body above and below the height (H) of the strut and reinforces the top of tank body against further expansion and further collapse relative to the bottom of the tank body at respective ones of its expanded height (H1) and collapsed height (H2).

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