Redesigned fuel tank lets lawn mower stand upright

By Kerri Jansen
Staff Reporter

Published: May 9, 2014 12:36 pm ET
Updated: May 9, 2014 12:41 pm ET

Image By: Toro The fuel tank used with the Mow 'n' Stow engine is L-shaped so that when the mower deck is rolled into a vertical position, even a full fuel level is contained below the level of the fuel cap.

Related to this story

Topics Blow Molding, Lawn & garden, Tanks - agricultural/industrial

Small-engine maker Briggs & Stratton Corp. has unveiled a new lawn mower engine that allows a gas-powered mower to be stored upright without leaking, thanks in part to a carefully engineered fuel tank.

Looking to create a space-saving storage option while maintaining cutting power, engineers developed engine components that can be safely rotated 110 degrees.

“We were looking for ways to bring some innovation to the lawn and garden market,” said Steve Lavender, senior director of engineering at Briggs & Stratton. “One of the issues was the whole idea of how much room a mower takes in the garage, and it would take up less room if you stood it up on end.”

Engineers faced the challenge of containing fuel and oil when the engine is in a vertical position. Fluids can leak from air vents and any seals, like the one around the fuel cap.

“When you think about servicing a lawn mower you have to be careful, even when you’re changing the blade, which direction you tip the mower so you don’t spill gasoline. So this really for us, it came out of a greater focus on innovation,” Lavender said.

Fuel tanks are designed to trap a volume of air so gasoline has room to expand with increased temperature. The fuel tank used with the Mow ‘n’ Stow engine is L-shaped so that when the mower deck is rolled into a vertical position, even a full fuel level is contained below the level of the fuel cap.

“The air that was above the volume of fuel moves to being where the gas cap is, so the gas cap stays above the fuel capacity of the tank,” Lavender said.

The tanks are made from a type of nylon 6 with low permeation, to meet guidelines on evaporative emissions, Lavender said. Popular fuel tank material high density polyethylene is permeable as a single layer and allows vapors to escape the tank via evaporation. Swapping HDPE for nylon 6 allows Briggs & Stratton to use a monolayer tank, rather than a multilayer one.

Tanks for Mow ‘n’ Stow engines are injection molded in two halves by a supplier in Missouri, Lavender said.

Engineers also moved vents on the carburetor and improved the seal on the engine’s oil fill tube to prevent leakage. Briggs & Stratton partnered with lawn equipment provider Toro Co. to bring the engine to market, in the form of Toro’s self-propelled Recycler with SmartStow, which is in stores now. The engine will also likely appear in future models currently in development, Lavender said.

Briggs & Stratton is headquartered in Milwaukee.


Comments

Redesigned fuel tank lets lawn mower stand upright

By Kerri Jansen
Staff Reporter

Published: May 9, 2014 12:36 pm ET
Updated: May 9, 2014 12:41 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

American Renolit sees steady gains in the film market

September 16, 2014 11:51 am ET

American Renolit Corp. has changed its product mix, changed its customer base and managed to grow in a market that was initially skeptical about the...    More

Image

Material Insights: Commerical production of antibacterial polymers begins

September 15, 2014 1:55 pm ET

PET bottle resin prices rise, we talk shale gas and antibacterial polymers.    More

Image

Vanee Foods adding hot-fill line

September 15, 2014 1:55 pm ET

Vanee Foods Co. expects to have a new hot-fill bottling line operational at its Broadview, Ill., facility by the end of this month.    More

Image

Bud Frye may be retiring, but his molds and products continue

September 12, 2014 1:11 pm ET

After 35 years in the plastics industry, Bud Frye thinks it is time for someone else to sell his food storage and housewares products. That's why...    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Bottle recycling goes to the dogs in China

September 11, 2014 6:00 am ET

We visit a custom sheet extruder in Indiana, Apple says no to plastic cases on the new iPhone and dogs help clear bottles from a river in China.    More

Market Reports

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events