Automobiles have long utilized gasoline as their prime fuel source through rubber fuel lines. As technology has advanced, blends of gasoline with other fuels, such as methanol, have been become more prevalent. Sometimes these blends can cause problems for rubber fuel hoses.
Methanol is a fuel derived from alcohol that has combustion properties for powering a vehicle's engine. Fuel hoses, such as rubber, can be affected by differing fuel chemicals.
Natural rubber is no longer used for fuel lines, as it degrades very quickly with methanol fuel mixtures. However, synthetic rubbers used to make fuel hoses can degrade also depending on the ratio of methanol to gasoline. The more the methanol content of a fuel, the faster the degradation of rubber-based fuel hoses.
There are a few materials that can resist damage from methanol fuel. These include polypropylene, polyethylene and nylon. Keep in mind that methanol fuel blends have varying ratios, so if there is concern over its reaction with fuel hosing, choose a fuel blend that has a low percentage of methanol- or alcohol-derived portions.
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