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How does Brittle Fracture Hazards affect FRP vessels?

January 2, 2021 0 Comments frp-vessels , polymer

As the title suggests Fractures/Cracks are formed in FRP vessels because of brittleness. They propagate if they are left unchecked and used further. Despite precision in designing, engineering, and production, let’s say, a product has developed fracture at some points. Disturbing isn’t it? Let us know more about fracture hazards to eliminate these in the future.

Fractures generally occur due to micro crystalline flaws that are invisible to naked eyes. They prove to be the seeds of destruction and visual inspection can’t solve the problem. High-end machinery are employed to detect those flaws by passing atomic level waves (ex- X-rays, radio waves). These rays penetrate deep into metal and upon reflection, show the result graphically. The hardness quotient is reduced by brittle grain structure. Even hardest metal can form a fracture due to brittleness.

Sometimes the FRP vessels seem to work properly but few actions act as the catalysts in forming a fracture. They are listed down below:-

  1. Operating above maximum allowed test and working pressure
  2. Placing the FRP vessels in bad condition or piling up stocks against them.
  3. Improper maintenance
frp vessel

What causes Brittleness? How it can be ?

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Sometimes, the fault may be present in the component before the vessel’s fabrication takes place. Poor heat treatment to the metal can also be responsible for it. Even though every process has been executed perfectly during manufacturing the vessel and fabrication, a foul treatment during thermal stress reduction of metal may hamper its tensile properties. Whatever may be the cause, it occurred before fabrication. But this ultimately causes brittle transformation. This negligible issue acts as a seed of destruction. Operating under any harsh environment, adding as a favorable condition the seed develops and spreads its branches all around. Some chemicals cause fatigue in alloys. Sometimes the outcome may be fatal, and cause accidents.

With maintenance as the only option left, several tests (ex- hydrostatic test) should be performed on a regular interval basis. This will inform you whether to weld the metal or discontinue its use.