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A Method for Rapidly Assessing Jet Fuel Compatibility with non-Metallic Materials

Project Number: 088
Category: Alternative Jet Fuels

The goal of this new project is to evaluate and quantify the effects of jet fuel composition on non-metallic materials. Various elements in aircraft and fueling systems are made of non-metallic materials. When jet fuels contact these components, they may affect the component’s physical characteristics and possibly impact the performance of the materials. For example, it is known that aromatic components in jet fuel interact with rubber seals (i.e., o-rings), causing seal swelling that can then provide sufficient sealing force to avoid fuel leaks in the system. This work will lead to a better understanding of the potential limits for certain non-metallic components regarding minimum levels of fuel chemical components needed to ensure continued safe operations. This work is essential to efforts to approve a 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) standard within ASTM. To carry out this project, a testing matrix of non-metallic materials and jet fuels, including both conventional jet fuel and SAF, will be developed and carried out across various testing methods. In addition to requiring advanced material testing facilities, these tests will also require the use of minimal volumes of various jet fuel samples.


This project will inform the ASTM International stakeholder group leading efforts to approve 100% SAF standards. Specifically, the testing data will inform the development of minimum required levels of fuel components, such as aromatics, if testing establishes these minimum levels are required. Testing may also conclude that other fuel components, such as cycloparaffins, provide similar material benefits. This project will establish compatibility relationships for various fuel components across various non-metallic materials encountered across the fuel system and aircraft architecture, highlighting potential issues or opportunities as more SAF pathways are developed with the aim of being drop-in compatible across the entire commercial aviation space. The results will also provide invaluable data to industry to help fuel producers understand fuel and material interactions. This knowledge will facilitate effective development of novel SAF pathways while ensuring safety and performance.

Last updated 7/20/2023

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