Optimal strength of carbon fibre overwrapped composite high-pressure vessels

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Numbi, M. N.
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Vaal University of Technology
The purpose of this study was to design a composite overwrapped pressure vessel by combining the best optimal structural options. This study investigated the effects of constituents such as fibre and shell thickness, on the bursting strength. Thereafter, these constituents were combined in order to achieve optimization of strength for an improved sustainable composite pressure vessel. The analytical method was carried out using the Tsai-wu failure theorem. The developed analytical equations were solved with Matlab 2016 software to determine composite fibre and shell thickness. With variation of the vessel’s liner, a total of 56 parts were created on two different profiles with purpose of generating of vessels resistant to bursting failure. Henceforth, the structural integrity of fibre imparted into the design was optimally analyzed at an angle of 55⁰, through the negative and positive directions. The shell thickness overwrapping the liner, being as well an influential factor to this optimization, was, therefore, analyzed on symmetrical and asymmetrical lamination patterns. The optimal fibre and shell thickness range were thereafter determined on a first ply failure and hoop stress threshold approach. Additionally, the identified optimal range of pressure vessel constituents were numerically validated, on Abaqus/CAE software, to have a degree of reassurance on the result generated, using Hashin failure criteria. Optimal design with improved strength and weight factor was therefore achieved by combining the generated optimal vessel constituents yielded from Minitab software version 2016. The generated results of the study revealed no change on the fibre thickness determined with respect to direction. For shell thickness on the other hand, asymmetrical pattern was identified as the desired sequence of lamination. In addition, with two profiles considered in the research, the composite constituents were found for a p value of 0.066, to be optimal on profile 1 at 0.0048 mm of liner, 0.0005 mm of fibre and 0.0027 mm of shell. The profile 2 on the other hand, revealed optimization of liner at 0.0095 mm, fibre at 0.0021 mm and shell at 0.0055 mm. Through combination of these ultimate constituents the response optimizer on Minitab software generated optimal bursting strength with factor of 4% improvement with a weight reduction of 33% compared to the stainless steel vessel. It was, therefore, concluded that profile 1 was the most optimal with hoop strength of 123.43 MPa, Von Mises of 178.56 MPa and Tresca of 179.48 MPa.
M. Tech. (Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology), Vaal University of Technology.
Overwrapping pressure vessels, Pressure vessel, Stainless steel vessel, Fibre thickness, Shell thickness, Composite pressure vessel