In order to ensure safe operation of hydrogen storage cylinders under adverse conditions, one should be able to predict the extremities under which these cylinders are capable of operating without failing catastrophically. It is therefore necessary to develop a comprehensive model which can predict the behavior and failure of composite storage cylinders when subjected to various types of loading conditions and operating environments. In the present work, a finite element model has been developed to analyze composite hydrogen storage cylinders subjected to transient localized thermal loads and internal pressure. The composite cylinder consists of an aluminum liner that serves as a hydrogen gas permeation barrier. A filament-wound, carbon/epoxy composite laminate placed over the liner provides the desired load bearing capacity. A glass/epoxy layer or other material is placed over the carbon/epoxy laminate to provide damage resistance for the carbon/epoxy laminates. A doubly curved composite shell element accounting for transverse shear deformation and geometric nonlinearity is used. A temperature dependent material model has been developed and implemented in ABAQUS using user subroutine. A failure model based on Hashin's failure theory is used to predict the various types of failure in the cylinder. A progressive damage model has also been implemented to account for reduction in modulus due to failure. A sublaminate model has been developed to save computational time and reduce the complications in the analysis. A numerical study is conducted to analyze a typical hydrogen storage cylinder and possible failure trends due to localized thermal loading and internal pressure is presented.
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