Thermomechanical Analysis of Composite Cylinders for Hydrogen Storage


Safe installation and operation of lightweight composite hydrogen storage cylinders are of primary concern. Typically, the inner liner of the cylinder is made with a high molecular weight polymer or aluminum that serves as a hydrogen gas permeation barrier. A filament-wound, carbon/epoxy composite laminate placed over the liner provides the desired pressure load bearing capacity. In many current designs, a glass/epoxy layer or other material is placed over the carbon/epoxy laminate to provide impact and damage resistance. These cylinders also have pressure/thermal relief devices that are activated in case of an emergency. The difficulty in accurately analyzing the behavior of a filament wound composite storage cylinder derives form the continually varying orientation of the fibers. Most of the analysis reported in filament wound composite cylinders is based on simplifying assumptions and does not account for complexities like thermo-mechanical behavior and highly orthotropic nature of the material. In the present work, a comprehensive finite element simulation tool for the design of hydrogen storage cylinder system is developed. The structural response of the cylinder is analyzed using laminated shell theory accounting for transverse shear deformation and geometric nonlinearity. A composite failure model is used to predict the maximum burst pressure. Results for various thermomechanical loading cases are presented.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Composite Cylinder; Finite Element Analysis; Hydrogen Storage

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2007 Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2007