Polymer Lined COPVS Formed using an Integrally Heated Rotational Moulding Tool and Laser Assisted Tape Placement

Brendan R. Murray, Sean Leen, Christopher O.A. Semprimoschnig, Conchur O Brádaigh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) are a critical component in space applications as their ability to store highly permeating fuels at high pressures under cryogenic conditions makes them an integral part of propulsion systems aboard rockets, satellites and spacecraft. Recent research has focused on replacing the standard metallic liner, in a COPV, with a polymer liner to reduce costs. An integrally heated rotational moulding tool has been constructed and used to produce demonstrator polymer liner components. The integrally heated tooling provides improved control of heating parameters with segregated heating throughout the tool which increases the dimensional accuracy of the part while also reducing energy consumption. The permeability of prospective liner materials has been evaluated for use in a demonstrator COPV with results showing acceptable levels of fuel containment. Polymer liner samples have been overwrapped in a laser assisted tape placement (LATP) process with a CF-PEEK tape to form final COPV wall configurations. Cryogenic cycling of liner-overwrap samples has shown crack resistance over multiple cycles preserving the polymer liners barrier properties. These new and novel manufacturing techniques show promise for future COPV production using polymer liners and out-of-autoclave processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSAMPE Conference 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2016


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