Home How-to Articles HDPE Fuel Tank Repair with a Tech-Bond PTFE Tech-Patch Kit

HDPE Fuel Tank Repair with a Tech-Bond PTFE Tech-Patch Kit

by Moses Ludel
When tree debris on the trail scraped our HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) fuel tank, a tank replacement looked inevitable. Then we found the Tech-Bond PTFE Tech-Patch Kit. This video details the Polymer Bonding Process and how we were able to restore the gas tank in place. Most modern vehicles have poly fuel tanks that can benefit from this technology.

High Density Polyethylene or HDPE is a common material in modern plastic gas tanks. Tough and flexible, these tanks are resistant to corrosion but can tear or scratch. When trail tree debris scraped our unprotected Jeep Cherokee fuel tank, the tank was critically close to leaking. Scrapes and strap abrasion are common with HDPE automotive fuel tanks.

Trail debris, in this case a tree branch, left this deep scrape in the Jeep’s fuel tank. HDPE is tough stuff but not impervious to scraps or punctures. The scrape did not produce a leak but showed signs of vapor permeation. This is a full-on leak ready to happen. The damage needed prompt attention. Poly fuel tanks are typically 2.5mm to 5mm thick. The depth of this scratch is 0.93mm, not much margin if the tank is only 2.5mm!

Typical of the industry, the vehicle manufacturer has discontinued offering replacement tanks for the Jeep XJ Cherokee models. Currently, there are no aftermarket poly tanks available for 1997-2001 Jeep Cherokees. A well-crafted, high capacity aluminum aftermarket tank with skid plate is available but costly. The usual path for most owners and shops is a “good used” tank.

HDPE fuel tanks flex. They have smooth surfaces. Epoxies and glues will not work on HDPE and similar polymers. (Read the fine print on the packaging.) Tech-Bond Solutions’ patented Polymer Bonding Process creates a true bond between a patch and the HDPE fuel tank substrate. This molecular and polymer bonding is breakthrough technology for plastic repairs and reinforcement. Tech-Bond products are used by automotive repair shops and modern body shops. Remember Chemistry class? The Tech-Bond Polymer Bonding Process forms a covalent, lasting bond.

In researching repairs on polymer plastics, we discovered the Tech-Bond Solutions website and YouTube videos. Tech-Bond kits are available for automotive fuel tank repairs. Due to the flexibility and smooth surfaces of polymers like HDPE, LDPE and polypropylene, repairs cannot be effectively made with “epoxy” or “glue”. (Popular plastic repair kits state flatly that they will not work with HDPE.) Tech-Bond’s patented Polymer Bonding Process is a molecular and polymer bonding system that creates the lasting bonds needed for fuel tank repairs.

This video coverage is the detailed account of how we used a Tech-Bond Solutions PTFE (Teflon®) Poly Tech-Patch Kit to make a lasting repair on the Jeep fuel tank. The advanced materials used in the process, including the specially treated fluorosilicone (FVMQ) patch with an embedded PTFE strip, are designed for flexibility, reasonable pressure resistance, fuel compatibility and anti-corrosive properties.

The video describes the Tech-Bond “kit”, the science behind polymers and bonding, plus facts you need to consider before repairing a plastic or HDPE fuel tank. This process can restore an obsolete or expensive fuel tank. Follow each step in the process.
A properly done repair is a lasting fix, “permanent” according to Tech-Bond Solutions. This choice saved considerable time, cost and labor. Most owners reluctantly buy a “good used” tank. Tech-Bond repairs can often enable keeping the original tank.

See the steps we took to repair our original equipment “HDPE/LDPE/EVOH” Jeep plastic fuel tank. The work was performed with the tank in place, similar to a backcountry repair. For remote overlanding, packing a Tech-Bond poly repair kit would be sensible. When accessorizing your 4×4 for off-pavement travel, a metal skid plate is a must. We’re getting one.

For further details on Tech-Bond adhesives and products, visit the Tech-Bond Solutions website: https://tbbonding.com

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