Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Widera, G. E. O.

Second Advisor

Foley, C. M.

Third Advisor

Nigro, N. J.


The commercial use of filament-wound pressure vessels has been expanding rapidly. To assist designers of these vessels, design tools similar to those available to designers of metallic tanks need to be developed. Most published work in this area comes from the aerospace industry. The design, analysis, and manufacturing techniques used in aerospace are not usually conducive to the high-speed production desired in commercial applications. In particular, commercial vessels tend to be wound with wide winding bands and simple dome contours, and have isotropic liners that contribute significant strength and stiffness to the vessel. In this dissertation, the design and analysis of filament-wound composite tanks with elliptical domes and simple winding patterns has been examined. A new concept referred to as the sub-band method is proposed as a method of modeling the performance of vessels wound with wide bands. A layered, axisymmetric, orthotropic shell element is developed and incorporated into a non-linear finite element program. Several test cases are evaluated to study the sensitivity of the stresses in a vessel to the design parameters. Analysis results agree well with exact solutions and commercial finite element programs, which are cumbersome to use with this type of geometry. The tools developed provide a designer with a fast and easy method of comparing design options.



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