Research Papers: Materials and Fabrication

Experimental and Numerical Studies on High-Pressure Composite Cylinders Subjected to Localized and Engulfing Fire

[+] Author and Article Information
Yongzhi Zhao

e-mail: yzzhao@zju.edu.cn
Institute of Process Equipment,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou, China

Bing Han

Dalian Boiler and Pressure Vessel
Supervision and Inspection Institute,
Xigang District,
Dalian 116013, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received March 7, 2013; final manuscript received May 27, 2013; published online September 17, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Marina Ruggles-Wrenn.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 135(5), 051405 (Sep 17, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: PVT-13-1045; doi: 10.1115/1.4024705 History: Received March 07, 2013; Revised May 27, 2013

Vehicle fires may lead to on-board high-pressure composite cylinders experiencing a term of localized and engulfing fire. During this period, the composite cylinder would be degraded and even burst before pressure relief device (PRD) could be activated to release internal high-pressure gas. In this paper, experimental investigation for such cylinders subjected to localized and engulfing fire was conducted on an aluminum liner composite cylinder filled with hydrogen. A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is developed to study the key factors influencing PRD activation time. The effects of hydrogen and compressed natural gas (CNG) as filling media, cylinder pressure and localized fire exposure time are analyzed in detail. The experimental results showed that pressure and temperature of internal gas rose very slowly during the localized fire. In addition, Hydrogen and CNG as filling media with different pressures have weak influence on the activation time of thermally activated PRD (TPRD), but have significant effect on the activation time of pressure-activated PRD (PPRD). TPRD can respond more quickly to protect the hydrogen composite cylinder than PPRD. PRD activation time increases as the localized fire exposure time is extended.

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Fig. 1

Locations of the PRD, thermocouples and localized fire area

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Fig. 2

Process of localized and engulfing fire impingement on the cylinder

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Fig. 3

Deflagration of the discharged hydrogen

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Fig. 4

Temperature variations in different regions of outside surface of the cylinder

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Fig. 5

Experimental pressure and calculated temperature variations of internal hydrogen

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Fig. 6

Schematic of the calculation region

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Fig. 7

Partial view of the grid structure

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Fig. 8

Temperature distribution of cylinder surface after the calculation time of 180 s and 535 s

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Fig. 9

Comparison of pressure and temperature rise of internal hydrogen between the simulation and experimental results

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Fig. 10

Temperature rise of the monitor point and pressure rise of internal hydrogen and CNG

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Fig. 11

TPRD activation time with different initial cylinder pressures

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Fig. 12

Pressure of internal gas before TPRD activation with different initial cylinder pressures

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Fig. 13

PRD activation time with different localized fire exposure times




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