Standard Guide for Nondestructive Examination of Composite Overwraps in Filament Wound Pressure Vessels Used in Aerospace Applications
|Publication Date:||1 February 2021|
|ICS Code (Pressure vessels):||23.020.30|
|ICS Code (Materials for aerospace construction in general):||49.025.01|
This guide discusses current and potential nondestructive testing (NDT) procedures for finding indications of discontinuities and accumulated damage in the composite overwrap of filament wound pressure vessels, also known as composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs). In general, these vessels have metallic liner thicknesses less than 2.3 mm (0.090 in.), and fiber loadings in the composite overwrap greater than 60 % by weight. In COPVs, the composite overwrap thickness will be of the order of 2.0 mm (0.080 in.) for smaller vessels and up to 20 mm (0.80 in.) for larger ones.
This guide focuses on COPVs with nonload-sharing metallic liners used at ambient temperature, which most closely represents a Compressed Gas Association (CGA) Type III metal-lined composite tank. However, it also has relevance to (1) monolithic metallic pressure vessels (PVs) (CGA Type I), (2) metal-lined hoop-wrapped COPVs (CGA Type II), (3) plastic-lined composite pressure vessels (CPVs) with a nonload-sharing liner (CGA Type IV), and (4) an allcomposite, linerless COPV (undefined Type). This guide also has relevance to COPVs used at cryogenic temperatures.
The vessels covered by this guide are used in aerospace applications; therefore, the inspection requirements for discontinuities and inspection points will in general be different and more stringent than for vessels used in non aerospace applications.
This guide applies to (1) low pressure COPVs used for storing aerospace media at maximum allowable working pressures (MAWPs) up to 3.5 MPa (500 psia) and volumes up to 2 L (70 ft3), and (2) high pressure COPVs used for storing compressed gases at MAWPs up to 70 MPa (10 000 psia) and volumes down to 8 L (500 in.3). Internal vacuum storage or exposure is not considered appropriate for any vessel size.
NOTE 1-Some vessels are evacuated during filling operations, requiring the tank to withstand external (atmospheric) pressure, while other vessels may either contain or be immersed in cryogenic fluids, or both, requiring the tanks to withstand any potentially deleterious effects of differential thermal contraction.
The composite overwraps under consideration include, but are not limited to, ones made from various polymer matrix resins (for example, epoxies, cyanate esters, polyurethanes, phenolic resins, polyimides (including bismaleimides), and polyamides) with continuous fiber reinforcement (for example, carbon, aramid, glass, or poly-(phenylenebenzo
This guide describes the application of established NDT methods; namely, Acoustic Emission (AE, Section 7), Eddy Current Testing (ET, Section 8), Laser Shearography (Section 9), Radiographic Testing (RT, Section 10), Infrared Thermography (IRT, Section 11), Ultrasonic Testing (UT, Section 12), and Visual Testing (VT, Section 13). These methods can be used by cognizant engineering organizations for detecting and evaluating flaws, defects, and accumulated damage in the composite overwrap of new and in-service COPVs.
NOTE 2-Although visual testing is discussed and required by current range standards, emphasis is placed on complementary NDT procedures that are sensitive to detecting flaws, defects, and damage that leave no visible indication on the COPV surface.
NOTE 3-In aerospace applications, a high priority is placed on light weight material, while in commercial applications, weight is typically sacrificed to obtain increased robustness. Accordingly, the need to detect damage below the visual damage threshold is more important in aerospace vessels.
NOTE 4-Currently, no determination of residual strength can be made by any NDT method.
All methods discussed in this guide (AE, ET, shearography, RT, IRT, UT, and VT) are performed on the composite overwrap after overwrapping and structural cure. For NDT procedures for detecting discontinuities in thin-walled metallic liners in filament wound pressure vessels, or in the bare metallic liner before overwrapping; namely, AE, ET, laser profilometry, leak testing (LT), penetrant testing (PT), and RT; consult Guide E2982.
In the case of COPVs which are impact damage sensitive and require implementation of a damage control plan, emphasis is placed on NDT methods that are sensitive to detecting damage in the composite overwrap caused by impacts at energy levels and which may or may not leave any visible indication on the COPV composite surface.
This guide does not specify accept-reject criteria (4.9) to be used in procurement or used as a means for approving filament wound pressure vessels for service. Any acceptance criteria specified are given solely for purposes of refinement and further elaboration of the procedures described in this guide. Project or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specific accept/reject criteria should be used when available and take precedence over any acceptance criteria contained in this document. If no accept/reject criteria are available, any NDT method discussed in this guide that identifies broken fibers should require disposition by the cognizant engineering organization.
This guide references both established ASTM methods that have a foundation of experience and that yield a numerical result, and newer procedures that have yet to be validated and are better categorized as qualitative guidelines and practices. The latter are included to promote research and later elaboration in this guide as methods of the former type.
To ensure proper use of the referenced standard documents, there are recognized NDT specialists that are certified according to industry and company NDT specifications. It is recommended that an NDT specialist be a part of any composite component design, quality assurance, in-service maintenance, or damage examination.
Units-The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The English units given in parentheses are provided for information only.
This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Some specific hazards statements are given in Section 7 on Hazards.
This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.