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.


ASME International, STP-PT-043, 2010, Compressed Hydrogen Performance Verification Flaw Testing of Fiber Reinforced Pressure Vessels ASME, Standard Technology Procedures (STP-PT-043), New York.
ISO 11119-3:
(E), 2002, Gas Cylinders of Composite Construction—Specifications and Test Methods—Part 3: Fully Wrapped Fibre Reinforced Composite Gas Cylinders With Non-Load-Sharing Metallic or Non-Metallic Liners, ISO, Revised 2013. Available at:
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