Research Papers: Materials and Fabrication

Flaw Testing of Fiber Reinforced Composite Pressure Vessels

[+] Author and Article Information
John Makinson

Senior Design Engineer
Lincoln Composites, Inc.,
5117 NW 40th Street,
Lincoln, NE 68524
e-mail: jmakinson@lincolncomposites.com

Norman L. Newhouse

Vice President, Technology
Lincoln Composites, Inc.,
5117 NW 40th Street,
Lincoln, NE 68524
e-mail: nnewhouse@lincolncomposites.com

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received March 1, 2011; final manuscript received January 31, 2012; published online May 6, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Marina Ruggles-Wrenn.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 136(4), 041409 (May 06, 2014) (5 pages) Paper No: PVT-11-1070; doi: 10.1115/1.4026962 History: Received March 01, 2011; Revised January 31, 2012

The ASME Boiler Pressure Vessel Project Team on Hydrogen Tanks, in conjunction with other ASME Codes and Standards groups, is developing Code Cases and revisions to the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, including such to address the design of composite pressure vessels. The Project Team had an interest in further understanding the effect of cuts to the surface of composite tanks, and how the burst pressure would be affected during the lifetime of the pressure vessel. A test program was initiated to provide data on initial burst pressure, and burst pressure after pressure cycling, of composite cylinders with cuts of different depth. This test program was conducted by Lincoln Composites under contract to ASME Standards Technology LLC, and was funded by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) [1]. These results were considered during the development and approval of the ASME Code Cases and Code Rules. Thirteen pressure vessels with a design pressure of 24.8 MPa (3600 psi), approximately 0.406 m (16.0 in.) in diameter and 1.02 m (40.2 in.) long, were tested to investigate the effects of cuts to the structural laminate of a composite overwrapped pressure vessel with respect to cycling and burst pressure. Two flaws, one longitudinal and one circumferential, were machined into the structural composite. The flaws were 57 mm long by 1 mm wide (2.25 in. × 0.04 in.) and varied in depth from 10% to 40% of the structural composite thickness of 11.4 mm (0.45 in.). These pressure vessels were cycled to design pressure 0, 10,000, and 20,000 times then burst. The resulting burst pressures were evaluated against the performance of a pressure vessel without flaws or cycling. The burst pressures were affected by depth of cut, but the pressure cycling did not have a significant effect on the burst pressure.

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Fig. 1

Typical pressure vessel used for testing

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Fig. 2

Dimensions of longitudinal and transverse flaws machined into the structural composite layer

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Fig. 3

Location of longitudinal and transverse flaws

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Fig. 4

Example of longitudinal (top) and transverse (bottom) flaws

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Fig. 5

Longitudinal flaw before (top) and after (bottom) 20,000 cycles to design pressure

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Fig. 6

Pressure versus time of tank 5 burst

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Fig. 7

Burst initiation site at the longitudinal flaw. The red arrows indicate flat edge on the composite formed by machining the flaw.

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Fig. 8

Transverse flaw on same tank shown in Fig. 7 after burst. Red arrow indicates location of transverse flaw.

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Fig. 9

Burst pressure versus cycling and depth of flaw

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Fig. 10

Burst pressure versus depth of flaw and cycling

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Fig. 13

Pressure versus time of tank 3B burst (40% flaw, 20,000 cycles)

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Fig. 12

Pressure versus time of tank 3A burst (40% flaw, 0 cycles)

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Fig. 11

Pressure versus time of tank 2A burst (30% flaw, 0 cycles)




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