Fuel Systems & Contamination
Office of Automotive Engineering

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image: SwRI Fuel Systems and Contamination Research Laboratory

SwRI Fuel Systems & Contamination Research Laboratory


image: Measurement of contaminant sensitivity is becoming more important as vehicle longevity requirements increase and production processes leave internal residue in the component.

Measurement of contaminant sensitivity is becoming increasingly important as vehicle longevity requirements grow and production processes leave internal residue in the component.

Contamination significantly affects the performance and durability of fuel, air, and lubricant components and systems, especially with respect to automotive safety and vehicle performance. Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) uses advanced analytical tools, testing techniques and simulation methodologies to assess the contamination sensitivity of fuel system, engine, powertrain, and hydraulic system components.

SwRI fuel systems and contamination research focuses on:

  • Investigation of interactions among contaminants, additive packages, and working fluids
  • Study of physics essentials that influence component performance and service life

Fuel Systems Research

  • Gasoline fuel delivery system evaluation
  • Diesel fuel system (common rail) evaluation
  • Component-level performance evaluation
  • Thermal cycle and contamination durability
  • Fuel Pump noise and vibration evaluation
  • Hot fuel handling of fuel delivery pumps/modules
  • Fuel compatibility study
  • Fuel level gauge evaluation
  • Powered pressure cycle cascaded with mechanical vibration
  • Water handling under icing conditions
  • Fuel Pump overheat evaluation
  • Injector flow characteristic evaluation
  • System and component electrostatic discharge (ESD) status evaluation
  • Ultra-high pressure (20,000 psi) impulse test of pressure lines

Contamination Research

  • Filter evaluation per the following specifications:
    • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
    • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
    • U.S. military
    • Original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
  • Filter and filtration systems performance and life evaluations with cyclic flow and vibration
  • Intake manifold activated carbon filter and vapor canister evaluation
  • Automotive components permeation test
  • Oil mist and droplets filter evaluation
  • Filter and filtration strategic analysis
  • Filter impulses, cold start (-54°C) and pressure fatigue (20,000 kPa or 3,000 psid) evaluation
  • ISO 4020 water removal evaluation

SwRI Contamination Research Services:

  • Functionality testing
  • Contamination sensitivity and durability testing
  • Contaminant chemical composition determination
  • Contaminant particle size and dirt loading pattern evaluation
  • Specialty contaminant reconstruction

Additional Information

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 9 technical divisions.