Marine fuel tank fabrication is the process of constructing a tank that keeps the boat moving for many years to come. This involves a special type of sheet metal fabrication to make a large tank that will keep the vessel functioning over time. There are some special considerations about what type of specifications should be used for this tank that should not be overlooked.
Aluminum Marine Fuel Tanks
The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) recommends that the aluminum fuel tank consists of alloys grade 5086, 5083 or 5052. They specify that the minimum thickness is no less than 0.90 inches for smaller tanks and for larger tanks should be no less than .125 inches and no thicker than .250 inches in order to meet the designated structural requirements.
Another thing to consider is moisture as it can do a lot of damage to an aluminum marine fuel tank. In fact, any type of material that has the capacity to store water such as paper can lead to corrosion in the aluminum tank. Therefore, it is considered a good practice to use a solution like Delrin that can mount the tank to a material that does not absorb water. Industrial enclosures can also be used to secure the area around the tank on larger vessels.
Replace Aging Tanks
Older fuel tanks on boats and vessels were often made of metals that were problematic. These materials were subject to rusting and clogging over time and are no longer used. Having a knowledgeable technician look at the old tank can be helpful for obtaining expert advice and a replacement in custom dimensions. Aluminum is also a stronger, more resistant material than the plastics that are used in some tanks.
Pay Attention to Shape and Dimensions
The fuel tank on each vessel is often as unique as the structure itself. On smaller and mid-sized boats, these tanks are often designed to be wedged in a spot that is not easy to notice. When having an aluminum tank made, consult a shop with experience in custom metal applications. This will ensure that the tank fits properly and will remain secure and free from corrosion for years to come.