Material Characterization and Life Prediction of a Carbon Fiber/Thermoplastic Matrix Composite for Use in Non-Bonded Flexible Risers
Russell, Blair Edward
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In the effort to improve oil production riser performance, new materials are being studied. In the present case, a Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC) is being considered as a replacement for carbon steel in flexible risers manufactured by Wellstream Inc., Panama City, Florida. The Materials Response Group (MRG) at Virginia Tech had the primary responsibility to develop the models for long-term behavior, especially remaining strength and life. The MRG is also responsible for the characterization of the material system with a focus on the effects of time, temperature, and environmental exposure. The present work is part of this effort. The motivation to use a composite material in a non-bonded flexible riser for use in the offshore oil industry is put forth. The requirements for such a material are detailed. Strength analysis and modeling methods are presented with experimental data. The effect of matrix crystallinity on composite mechanical properties is shown. A new method for investigating matrix behavior at elevated temperatures developed. A remaining strength life prediction methodology is recalled and applied to the case of combined fatigue and rupture loading.
- Masters Theses