Pressure Vessel Dome reinforcement

Learn more about our demonstrator!

This part is a process mock-up demonstrator showcasing the use of Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology on pressure vessel dome reinforcements. For this demonstrator, a generic pressure vessel geometry was used. The used material is wide towpreg tape based on Toray T700 carbon fibers, cured in an oven under vacuum. As the overall production process combines FPP dome reinforcements with traditional filament winding, the dome reinforcement typically remains uncured and the dome-reinforced liner moves filament winding (wet or towpreg) without any further post-processing.

Process: How was this part produced?

This mock-up demonstrator was manufactured using our SAMBA Pro lab system with 10 robotic axes, following the FPP process:

  • Provide the carbon fiber material ( 38mm wide towpreg tape)
  • Automatically cut 180mm long patches in the feeding & cutting unit
  • Inspect each patch twice by vision cameras for quality control (shape, size & alignment)
  • Place the cut patch directly onto the liner using the form-flexible Cevotec patch gripper
  • No post-processing necessary

During manufacturing, the dome reinforcement was laid-up directly on the dome-shaped tooling, according to the orientations defined in Cevotec’s software ARTIST STUDIO. No intermediate compaction or debulking step were necessary.

Finally, the reinforcement was bagged and cured for exhibition purposes only. The actual process omits the curing step; instead, the reinforced liner moves to the next process step of composite overwinding.

Results: What is special about it?

This demonstrator showcases the unique strengths of Fiber Patch Placement technology for composite tank dome reinforcements:

  • Weight & cost reduction: less material and faster takt time lead to significantly lower cost – at equivalent mechanical performance and at lower weight
  • Storage performance: Given the reduced laminate thickness, the liner volume can be expanded for a given outer diameter, improving storage volume and efficiency.
  • Efficient process: Lay-up directly on the liner (metallic or polymer) without the need for a separate mandrel and additional process steps
  • Effective designs: Dome reinforcement orientations are not limited to geodesic paths; FPP supports any orientation strategy of the reinforcement.

Relevance: Which components are featuring similar challenges?

This mock-up dome reinforcement demonstrator is a representative geometry of a Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel (COPV). COPVs vary in diameters, length and operating pressures. While dome reinforcements can be applied to basically every vessel type, the effectiveness increases with a vessel’s aspect ratio L/D (length over diameter) and with increasing operating pressure.

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