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Патент USA US2406679

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Aug. 27,1946.
Filed May 3l, 1940
Patented Aug. 27,n 1946
-Reid B. Gray, Dundalk, and Joseph C. De Weese,
Parkville, Md., assignors to The Glenn'L. Mar
tin Company, Baltimore, Md.
Application May 31, 1940, Serial No. 338,052
2 Claims. (Cl. 154-435)
by a bullet.
Many efforts have been made to provide a fuel
tank, particularly for use in warfare, which will
not leak if it is pierced by a projectile. Hereto
fore such tanks have not been successful. It is
the object of the present invention to produce a
truly self-sealing tank which will not leak even 10
after it is pierced.
Figs. 6, ’7 and 8 are ,similar views showing the
The invention relates to containers and espe
cially to tanks for liquid kfuel which are capable
of resealing automatically if they are pierced, as
passage of a bullet leaving the tank.
As shown in Fig. l, the tank is composed of an
outer rigid frame or container 2 and 'a cell 4. The
container 2 may be of any suitable rigid material,
but a metal such as a light aluminum alloy is pre- ,
The cell 4 is formed of a laminated material,
shown in detail in Fig. 2. The nature of this
material maybe somewhat Varied, but the fol- v
lowing is preferred.
The inner layer 6 is formed of a material re
In the past most tanks of this type have been
sistant to the liquid in the tank, for example an
of metal with a covering of rubber, leather or
artificial rubber such as neoprene. This` layer 6
other similar materials intended to Ybe self-seal
ing so as to close any hole which might be formed 15 is preferably in the nature of a fabric impreg
in the metal. Such tanks have been inadequate,
We have found, because the projectile leaving the
tank normally produces a larger hole than when
it enters. This bends the metal of the tank out
nated with the resistant material. Secured to
layer 6 by a layer 8 of suitable cement, resistant
to hydrocarbon or to whatever liquid the cell is
to contain, is a layer Ii! of resistant material
ward to such a degree that the covering layers 20 having considerable life, elasticity, resilience and
softness, such as neoprene sheet. Outside of
layer I0 and attached thereto by resistant ce
ment I2 is a layer I 4 of plastic, non-absorbent
often to enlarge any opening made therein.
crude rubber free of vulcanizing agents or some
The present invention provides a tank in
which al metal container acts only as a support 25 other material soluble in the liquid. Secured on
layer I4 by a resistant cement layer lli> is a layer
ing frame for an internal fuel-containing cell
I8 of elastic, resilient, soft vulcanized rubber.
which is formed with self-sealing walls. The cell
As is apparent from Figs. l and 2, the outer
is made of greater outside dimensions than the
dimensions of cell 4 are somewhat larger than
inner dimensions of the metal-frame, so that all
tensile strain is taken off .of the cell wall and is 30 the inner dimensions of frame 2, and the cell
walls are free from the frame. This makes it
taken by the frame. This dimension of the cell
` possible for the cell to transfer all the load of
also puts the parts of the cell wall under com
cannot reseal. Furthermore, the very nature of
these layers on the outside of a metal tank is
pression rather than under tension, so that there
is a tendency for any holes which may be fo-rmed
to close rather than to stretch open.
Finally, the cell wall is formed of a laminated
material, the inner layers being formed of a ma
the liquid therein to the cell without being sub
vjected to stretching. In addition the cell col
35 lapses as the fuel is drawn therefrom, so that in
many cases a bullet may. pass through the tank
2. without piercing the cell. The joints of the dif
ferent layers 6, I0, I4 and I 8 are staggered dur- ~
terial resistant to the liquid in the tank, such as
ing the manufacture of the cell so as not to over
artificial rubber in the case of petroleum fuels,
while the outer layers include a material which 40 lie one another.
Figs. 3to 5 show the action of the tank as a
is soluble in the liquid so as to seal up any hole
bullet or other projectile enters it. The bullet
formed therein. All the layers are flexible and
forms a relatively small hole in the wall 2, the
preferably elastic.
edges of this hole turning inwardly as at 2|! (Fig.
Further objects and advantages of this inve - ‘
3). The bullet then pierces the cell wall (Fig. 4).
tion will appear more fully from the following
description, particularly when taken in conjunc
tion with the accompanying drawing which
forms a part thereof.`
In the drawing:
After the bullet has passed through, the wall re- -
turns to its normal position (Fig. 5), being held
slightly bulged‘by the bent metal 20 around the
hole. However, because of the greater dimensions
of the cell asY compared with the frame, there
is ample material to close the hole again in the
manner shown. A certain amount of the fuel will
Fig. 2 is a detail cross-section through one
leak through the two resistant layers 6 and Ill
wall of the tank;
and will cause a swelling and adhesion of the
Figs. 3, 4 and 5 show the passage of a bullet
55 rubber layers I4 and I8, as indicated at 22, thus
entering the tank;
Fig. 1 is a cross-section through a fuel tank
embodying the invention;
effectively sealing the hole. In addition, the bullet
second layer, and a fourth layer of soft vul
canized rubber adhesively secured on the outside
of said third layer.
2. A self-sealing hydrocarbon fuel tank com
carries a slight amount of the rubber into the
hole in the resistant layers which helps in the
When the bullet leaves the tank (Figs. 6 to 8)
prising a metal frame, a ñexible cell within said
it makes a. larger hole, bending the metal of the
frame, the outer dimensions of the cell being pro
portioned with respect to the inner dimensions of
the frame so that the hydrostatic load of the
vent the cell 4 from springing back to its normal
position, as shown in Fig. 8, in which sealing oc
fuel is transmitted to said frame, the cell walls
10 being unstressed by the fuel load, the walls of
curs in the same manner as in Fig. 5.
said cell being free of the frame and including
While We have described herein one embodi-i
frame 2 out as at 24. However, this does not pre
' at least four layers arranged in the sequence
ment of our invention we wish it to be understoodv
that we do not intend to limit ourselves therebyV v
except within the scope of the appended claims. 1
We claim:
l. A self-sealing hydrocarbon fuel tank com- '
prising a metal frame and a ñexible cell within
said frame,'the wall of said cell being free of the, . .
frame and being formed of an inner layer of fabric’
impregnated with artificial rubber, a second layer 20
of artificial rubber adhesively secured on the out
side of said first layer, a third layer of crude
rubber adhesively secured on the outside of said
named; a layer of fabric impregnated with syn
thetic rubber resistant to the chemical action of
the fuel to be held in said tank, a layer of syn
thetic rubber, a layer of crude unvulcanized rub
ber subject to swelling upon contact with the fuel,
and a, soft vulcanized protective layer, all of said
layers being adhesively secured to adjacent layers
to form a laminar structure.
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