US 9,809,114 B2
Vehicle fuel tank system for improved crashworthiness
Erin Marie Shipp, Charleston, SC (US)
Filed by ROBSON FORENSIC, INC., Lancaster, PA (US)
Filed on Nov. 17, 2015, as Appl. No. 14/943,404.
Application 14/943,404 is a division of application No. 14/520,676, filed on Oct. 22, 2014, granted, now 9,216,647.
Application 14/520,676 is a continuation of application No. 14/149,957, filed on Jan. 8, 2014, granted, now 9,321,346.
Claims priority of provisional application 61/750,418, filed on Jan. 9, 2013.
Prior Publication US 2016/0068065 A1, Mar. 10, 2016
This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.
Int. Cl. B60K 15/067 (2006.01); B60K 15/073 (2006.01); B60K 15/07 (2006.01); B60K 15/063 (2006.01); B60K 15/03 (2006.01)
CPC B60K 15/067 (2013.01) [B60K 15/063 (2013.01); B60K 15/07 (2013.01); B60K 15/073 (2013.01); B60K 2015/03407 (2013.01); B60K 2015/0634 (2013.01); B60K 2015/0675 (2013.01); B60Y 2200/14 (2013.01); B60Y 2200/221 (2013.01); B60Y 2306/01 (2013.01)] 17 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A fuel tank system for a vehicle, the fuel tank system comprising:
a fuel tank;
a support structure which provides impact protection to the fuel tank, the support structure having mounting members, a bottom plate, and a support member, the mounting members mount to the vehicle, the bottom plate provided proximate a bottom wall of the fuel tank, wherein the bottom plate protects the fuel tank from being crushed or punctured and serves as a skid plate if ground contact is made, the support member extending between a respective mounting member and the bottom plate; and
wherein the support member is configured to fail during an impact, allowing energy applied during the impact to the support structure to be translated to a vertical force and a lateral force, pushing the fuel tank in a direction which is lateral to the direction of a longitudinal axis of the frame rail members and perpendicular to the direction of the longitudinal axis of the frame rail members, allowing the fuel tank to be moved vertically and laterally by the energy of the impact to a position in which the fuel tank is substantially out of the path of the impact or protected by the chassis of the vehicle into a vertical force and a lateral force.