Composite Pressure Vessels (CPVs) are a critical component for Oil & Gas, offshore marine, automotive, nuclear and chemical industry, replacing steel, the traditionally dominant material for the manufacturing of composite pressure vessels. These structures are widely used for storage and transportation of gases and liquids at a pressure significantly different from the ambient pressure. These closed, rigid containers can store large amounts of energy as they operate under high pressure. These extreme operating conditions can deteriorate their structural integrity, which can lead to burst events resulting in high extent of damage and potential fatalities. Consequently, their design, manufacture and operation should involve safety parameters in order to prevent dangerous and fatal accidents. These catastrophic incidents can be prevented prior to their occurrence by the development of Leak-Before-Break (LBB) concepts which will avert disastrous failure of the structure by the relief of the pressurisation through the leak and allow timely intervention for the restoration of the problem through immediate detection of the leakage by visual inspection or by identifying drop in internal pressure.
The aim of this PhD research is to develop a LBB concept for filament wound composite structures so that a safer, more predictable and controllable way of failure is accomplished. The main idea of the LBB concept is to introduce specific weak points while manufacturing the composite structure, where the crack initiation will occur. When the crack starts developing, the surrounding material will control its propagation and encourage the creation of a leak. With this design approach, a more controllable failure can be achieved which will prevent catastrophic failures of the pressure vessels.