Composite overwrapped pressure vessel

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Composite pressure vessel.jpg

A composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) is a vessel consisting of a thin, non-structural liner wrapped with a structural fiber composite, designed to hold a fluid under pressure. The liner provides a barrier between the fluid and the composite, preventing leaks (which can occur through matrix microcracks which do not cause structural failure) and chemical degradation of the structure. In general, a protective shell is applied for protective shielding against impact damage.[1][2] The most commonly used composites are fiber reinforced polymers (FRP),[3] using carbon and kevlar fibers. The primary advantage of a COPV as compared to a similar sized metallic pressure vessel is lower weight, but this may be offset by the increased costs of manufacturing and certification.

Casing of the Altair rocket stage, essentially a fiberglass composite overwrapped pressure vessel


Various tests and inspections are performed on COPVs, including burst test, stress-rupture lifetime, and nondestructive evaluation.[4][5]

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