Fuel System Contaminant Characterization
Office of Automotive Engineering



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image: Engineers evaluate changes in surface characteristics at critical boundaries as illustrated in these micrographs of a fuel injector tip. (Top: 250-hour test. Bottom: 980-hour test.)  
image: Engineers evaluate changes in surface characteristics at critical boundaries as illustrated in these micrographs of a fuel injector tip. (Top: 250-hour test. Bottom: 980-hour test.)

Engineers evaluate changes in surface characteristics at critical boundaries as illustrated in these micrographs of a fuel injector tip. (Top: 250-hour test. Bottom: 980-hour test.)

Contamination significantly affects the performance, durability, and service life of:

  • Fuel components
  • Fuel systems
  • Air systems
  • Air components
  • Lubricant components
  • Lubricant systems

Other issues affected by contamination include:

  • Automotive safety
  • Vehicle performance
  • Warranty

Assessing Contamination Sensitivity

Scientists and engineers at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) use advanced analytical tools, testing techniques, and simulation methodologies to assess the contamination sensitivity of:

  • Fuel system components
  • Engine components
  • Powertrain components
  • Technical strengths include:
  • Functionality testing
  • Contamination sensitivity and durability testing
  • Contaminant chemical composition determination
  • Contaminant particle size evaluation

Related Terminology

contaminants  •  fuel components  •  fuel system components  •  powertrain components  •  air induction systems  •  lubricant systems  •  automotive safety  •  vehicle performance  •  contamination damage  •  fuel injectors  •  functionality testing  •  contamination sensitivity and durability testing  •  contaminant chemical composition determination  •  contaminant particle size evaluation

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 10 technical divisions.
05/14/14