Capstone Design Project: Sept. 2017- May 2018


The purpose of this senior project is to design a composite reinforced cylindrical pressure vessel, and to manufacture it to be stronger and lighter than a steel pressure vessel of similar dimensions.

To successfully complete this project, I collaborated with five of my peers to design and manufacture a carbon-fiber epoxy composite reinforced cylindrical pressure vessel. To create the cylindrical mold to form the shape of the vessel, we poured liquid paraffin wax into a PVC pipe with two (2) hemispherical caps. We then inserted the nozzle with an attached hemispherical skirt to the end of the wax mold. The purpose of the hemispherical skirt on the nozzle was to distribute the internal forces away from the nozzle to prevent stress concentrations from causing fracture on that vulnerable area. This hemispherical skirt is made of a carbon steel frame and was supported to the nozzle with a spherical washer of the same material. Following this process, we wrapped the mold and the nozzle-skirt with multiple layers of an optimally woven carbon fiber mesh that had been pre-impregnated with epoxy resin. The carbon fiber woven mesh was angled at 45° , -45° , 0° to optimize its strength. We cured the vessel in an oven at approximately two-hundred fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit (255 F) while dispensing the liquefied wax contents into a dispense container. Finally, we attached a hydraulic valve to the nozzle.  After we successfully assembled our vessel, we tested to failure with hydro-static pressure. The cost of our project amounted to $412.44.

Senior Design Report

Senior Design Poster

© 2018 by Jonathan Burnley