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Fatigue failure analysis of surface-cracked


(45)3 filament-wound GRP pipes under
internal pressure
Article in Journal of Composite Materials May 2012
Impact Factor: 1.17 DOI: 10.1177/0021998311414945

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JOURNAL OF
COMPOSITE
M AT E R I A L S

Article

Fatigue failure analysis of surface-cracked


(45)3 filament-wound GRP pipes under
internal pressure

Journal of Composite Materials


46(9) 10411050
! The Author(s) 2011
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DOI: 10.1177/0021998311414945
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A Samanci1, N Tarakcioglu2 and A Akdemir3

Abstract
In this study, the fatigue behavior of (45 )3 filament-wound composite pipes with a surface crack under alternating
internal pressure was investigated. Glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) pipes were made of E-glass/epoxy and tested in the
open-ended condition. The pipes had a surface crack with a notchaspect ratio of a/c 0.2 and notch-to-thickness ratios
of a/t 0.25, 0.38, or 0.50 in the axial direction. Tests were carried out in accordance with ASTM D2992. This standard
offers 25 cycles/min and a load ratio of R 0.05. Tests were performed at three different load levels: 50%, 40%, and 30%
of ultimate hoop stress. Whitening, leakage, and final failure of GRP pipes were observed, and fatigue test results were
presented by means of SN curves.

Keywords
polymermatrix composites (PMCs), fatigue, filament winding, surface crack, GRP pipe, internal pressure

Introduction
Glass ber reinforced epoxy tubes are increasingly used
in gas and liquid transfer pipes, high-pressure containers
in chemical plants, and in the aerospace and defense
industries. Filament-wound composite pipes made of
glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) have many potential
advantages over pipes made from conventional materials, such as high specic stiness and strength, good
corrosion resistance, and thermal insulation. With
developments in manufacturing technology to produce
lament-wound pipes, there has been a growing interest
in the application of lament-wound ber-reinforced
cylindrical composite structures. Polymeric composites
oer many cost advantages over metals due to a considerably higher strength-to-weight ratio. In structural
lament-wound GRP pipes, cracks have been found in
dierent forms, locations, orientations, sizes, and types.
Surface crack problems are more complicated than
other problems. Stress elds and the crack growth
behavior of semielliptical or semicircular surface
cracks greatly depend on the crack shape and crack
size and inclination, as well as on the pipe dimensions.
Surface cracks that exist in pressure vessels, pipelines,
tanks, and rocket motor casings can lead to catastrophic
failures, especially under corrosive and cyclic loading
conditions.1

The most intensive research on lament-wound ber


glass/epoxy composite tubes was conducted by Perreux
and his coworkers26 who investigated the eect of frequency on the fatigue performance of composite pipes
under biaxial loading.6 The biaxial monotonic and
fatigue behavior of a multidirectional lament-wound
berglass/epoxy pipe were investigated by Ellyin
and Martens.7,8 The biaxial fatigue and leakage characteristics of ber-reinforced composite tubes were studied
by Wolodgo.9 The uniaxial fatigue behavior of lamentwound berglass/epoxy tubes was researched by
Kaynak and Mat.10
Tarakcioglu et al. have also contributed greatly to
research on lament-wound berglass/epoxy composite

Cihanbeyli Vocational school, University of Selcuk, Konya, Turkey


Department of Mechanical Education, University of Selcuk, Konya,
Turkey
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Selcuk, Konya,
Turkey
2

Corresponding author:
A Samanci, Cihanbeyli Vocational school, University of Selcuk, Konya,
Turkey
Email: asamanci@selcuk.edu.tr

1042

Journal of Composite Materials 46(9)

tubes1116. They studied monotonic and fatigue behavior


of intact and surface-cracked specimens with dierent
winding angle composite pipes. The eect of surface
cracks on strength was investigated theoretically and
experimentally in GRP pipes that were exposed to openended internal pressure.12 The fatigue failure behaviors of
glass/epoxy 55 and 75 lament-wound pipes under
internal pressure were investigated experimentally. The
whitening, leakage, and nal failure stages of GRP
pipes have been observed, and the fatigue results were
presented by means of SN curves.13,16 The fatigue behaviors of surface-cracked lament-wound pipes with high
tangential strength were investigated in corrosive environment.14 Fatigue crack growth of 55 and 75 lamentwound GRP pipes with a surface crack were investigated
under cyclic internal pressure.1,15 In these tests, the eects
of sizes of surface crack on fatigue failure behavior and
applied hoop stress levels were investigated. Arikan17
studied the failure analysis of lament-wound composite
pipes with an inclined surface crack under static internal
pressure. The failure of the GRP pipes was analyzed and
the dependence on crack behavior and burst strengths was
determined.
Sayman and his coworkers studied fatigue behavior of
dierent lament winding angle composite pipes1820.
The eect of winding angle on fatigue strength was investigated theoretically and experimentally in GRP pipes
that were exposed to close-ended internal pressure.
They reported that the optimum winding angle for
the composite pressure cylinders or vessels under
internal fatigue pressure load was obtained as 45
orientation.18
The present study shows the fatigue damage progression of (45 )3 lament-wound E-glass/epoxy pipes with
Table 1. Mechanical properties of the fiber and the resin

E-glass (Vetrotex
1200 tex, fiber
diameter 17 mm)
Epoxy resin
(Ciba Geigy LY 556)

a surface crack under pure hoop loading condition.


The whitening, leakage, and nal failure stages of
GRP pipes with dierent crack depth ratios were
observed, and the results obtained were presented by
means of SN curves for a crack depth ratio of only a/
t 0.5.

Experimental
Specimen preparation
Filament-wound GRP pipes with (45 )3 winding
angles were manufactured by IZORELL Co. using a
computer numerical control (CNC) winding machine.
Vetrotex 1200 Tex E-glass ber, a CIBA-GEIGY LY
556/HY 917/DY 070 bisphenol-A epoxy resin system
with 100:90:0.5 weight ratios and the CIBA-GEIGY
QZ-13 mold release agent were used to make the
GRP pipes. The mechanical properties of the matrix
and reinforcement materials are given in Table 1.
After winding process, GRP pipes were cured for
2 hr at 135 C on a mandrel in a slow motion rotary
oven. After pulling out the mandrel, the pipes were
post-cured for 2 hr at 150 C. The pipes were cut into
test lengths of 300 mm using a diamond wheel-cutting
saw. The manufacturing properties of the lamentwound composite pipes are given in Table 2. Axial
elliptical surface notches were cut using a diamondgrinding disc (1 mm thick and 38 mm diameter) with a
horizontal machining center. Then the notches were
sharpened by a lancet. The pipes with a surface crack
had a notchaspect ratio of a/c 0.2 and notch-tothickness ratios of a/t 0.25, 0.38, and 0.50 in the
axial direction as shown in Figure 1. The parameter a
is the crack depth, 2c is the crack length, and t is the
wall thickness. The average wall thickness is 2.15 mm
and the standard deviation of the thickness of GRP
pipes were found as 0.1 mm.

E
(GPa)

 TS
(MPa)


(g/cm3)

emax
(%)

73

2400

0.25

2.6

1.52

Test setup

45

Fatigue tests were conducted using a programmable


logic controlled (PLC) servohydraulic testing machine.
Figure 2 shows the open-ended internal pressure fatigue
test setup for GRP pipe specimens. The procedure for

3.4

5060

0.38

1.2

Table 2. Manufacturing and mechanical properties of GRP pipe specimens


Winding angle
Number of layer
Pipe length (mm)
Internal pipe diameter (mm)
Pipe shell thickness (mm)

45
3
300
72
2.15

Ultimate hoop strength (MPa)


Yield hoop strength (MPa)
Strains ratio (ehoop/eaxial)
Fiber volume fraction (%)
Elasticity modulus, Ehoop (GPa)

337
80
0.94
50
10.8

Samanci et al.

1043

Figure 1. Schematic presentation of open-ended internal pressure test apparatus with surface-cracked pipe.

(135 MPa), and 50% (169 MPa) of the static strength


of the specimen.

Experimental results and discussion

Figure 2. Internal pressure fatigue test setup.

determining the long-term fatigue strength of a composite pipe was based on ASTM standard D2992.21 The
ASTM standard stipulates cycling the internal hydrostatic pressure at a rate of 25 cycles/min (0.42 Hz) over
the full pressure range and a load ratio of R 0.05. The
magnitude of the fatigue test stress levels was decided
based on the strength under static internal pressure.
Three dierent stress levels were applied. These
maximum stress levels were 30% (101 MPa), 40%

The ber volume fraction (Vf) of the GRP pipes was


determined to be 0.5 by burn-o tests in accordance
with ASTM D2584. So theoretical modulus of the composite in rst and second principal material directions
as E1 38 MPa, E1 6.5 MPa, and theoretical ultimate
strength in tension as Xt 1225MPa and Yt 50MPa
were calculated respectively by using the ber and
matrix material properties in Table 1. Ultimate tensile
strength of the GRP pipe in ber direction was found
theoretically as 1225 MPa by using well known the rule
of mixtures equation Xt Vf  f (1  Vf)  m 0.5 
2400 MPa 0.5  50 MPa 1225 MPa where, Xt is the
tensile strength of the composite in ber direction,  f
and  m are the tensile strength of the ber and matrix,
respectively. If the assumptions as below were considered for simplicity, theoretical stress of the pipe in tangential direction is approximately found as 866 MPa
according to netting analysis (1225 MPa  sin 45
866 MPa). The pipe wall thickness is thin. When the
elemental piece of pipe was considered, the pipe can
be assumed as a at plate. Netting analyses assume
that all loads are supported by the bers only, neglecting any contribution of the matrix and any interaction
between the bers. The laments also possess no bending or shearing stiness and carry only the axial tensile
loads.
However, the tangential ultimate stress was found
experimentally as 337 MPa. Calculated ultimate stress
value is excesively higher than experimental result. The
dierence between theoretical and experimental tangential stress was caused by manufacturing conditions such
as ber wettability, porosity, winding and curing
parameters.

1044

Journal of Composite Materials 46(9)

Figure 3. The stressstrain (e) graph of the (45 )3 GRP pipe subjected to monotonic internal pressure under open-ended
conditions.

Statically internal pressure tests


Strain gauges were assembled on the unnotched GRP
pipes in the axial and hoop directions to obtain the
static burst strength. Stressstrain values were recorded
for determination of mechanical properties. These specimens were loaded with internal pressure up to burst
pressure at a 1 MPa/s loading rate. For determining the
stress level to be used in the fatigue tests, it was necessary
to know their static hoop strength values. Thus, the
mechanical properties of the specimens were found for
static internal pressure conditions. The average tangential
burst stress was found as 337 MPa with a standard deviation of 15 MPa for three specimens. The mechanical
properties of the composite pipe are given in Table 2.
The rst sign of damage is the formation of thin
white lines parallel to the ber direction caused by the
matrix cracking and bermatrix separation. These
lines are formed by shear stress, which is parallel to
the ber. Whitening starts and becomes concentrated
at nearly 80 MPa hoop stress value. The increase of
whitening with the pressure is the sign of debonding
and delamination. In addition, when the internal pressure increases, the length of the pipe becomes shorter
and the diameter of the pipe grows. After the tests,
the ber angle increases from 45 to 50 55 and
serious macro deformations are observed on the
specimens.

The stressstrain (e) values that were recorded


throughout the experiment are represented as a graph
in Figure 3.

Fatigue tests
In the fatigue experiments, three specimens were used
for each notch-to-thickness ratios (a/t 0.25, 0.38, or
0.50) and tests were performed at three dierent load
levels: 50%, 40%, and 30% of ultimate hoop stress.
The tests were repeated three times separately and the
experimental data that shows scattering were presented
in Figure 4. The previous studies1,1316 on this topic
were conducted using selected applied load levels. As
a reference value, the applied load levels were chosen as
reported.
Fatigue test results are presented and interpreted by
means of SN curves with scattering data for leakage
initiation and burst in Figure 4. It can be seen that
leakage initiation was not observed at high applied
stress ( applied 0.5  static) and pipe suddenly failed
catastrophically by bursting. On the contrary, at low
applied stresses ( applied 0.4 and 0.3  static) leakage
began rstly and then burst failure occurred after a
number of cycles. The tests were continued until burst
failure of the pipes. In case of oil leakage from sealing,
a metal clamp was applied to the region of sealing as
seen in Figure 6.

Samanci et al.

1045

Hoop stress, hoop (MPa)

200

100

Burst f ailure
leakage initiation

0
10

100

1.000

10. 000

Number of cycle, (N)




Figure 4. Stress number of cycles graph of (45 )3 GRP pipes with a surface crack for different damage propagation stage
(a/t 0.50).

During the fatigue tests, three damage mechanism


stages were observed. The rst damage mechanism
was whitening. At this stage, matrix cracking, debonding, and delamination occurred. The white zones grew
wider and deeper along the ber-winding direction.
Microcracks started along this direction. It is observed
that all of the specimens have whitened approximately
at rst cycles (Figures 58). The second damage stage is
the pinhole formation stage, followed by a leakage
stage. This situation is depicted in Figure 5(b). The pinhole occurred due to delamination in this region. It is
reported that the pinhole progressed from the inner
surface of the pipe to outward due to the pressurized
uid eect at each loading cycle. The leakage began
at the pinhole as a small droplet and after a while
intense leakage began.16 Finally, burst failure occurred
by ber breakage.
In the fatigue test, when the internal pressure was
applied to the pipes, the diameter of the pipes enlarged
and the length of the pipes shortened. At this time,
there was no deformation out of the sealing equipment
of the pipe. The bottleneck formation occurred in the
vicinity of the sealing region (Figures 5(a) and 6). Some
specimens showed an oil leakage from sealing. To avoid
this situation, metal clamping was applied to this region
as in Figure 6. This metal clamping allows shortening
of the pipe in the axial direction by sliding easily over
the sealing.
The pipe specimens with a surface crack (a/t 0.5)
nal failure damage occurs at the surface crack (Figures
6 and 8(b)). However, a majority of pipe specimens
with shallow surface cracks (fully in a/t 0.25 and
partly in a/t 0.38) were not damaged in the crack
region. Failure occurred in the region near the sealing
equipment because of the bottleneck eect (Figures 5(a)

and 8(a)). In damage formation, the eect of bottlenecking was greater than the crack eect in these specimens.
This situation was also reported by Tarakcioglu.12 Thus,
the fatigue lives of these pipes do not represent the eect
of the surface crack. For this reason, the SN curves of
these specimens could not be drawn in Figure 4 because
of this situation.
The pipe burst from sealing region as shown in
Figure 5(a) was sliced along the axial direction on the
surface crack. Hence, the damage zone underneath the
surface crack could be observed in Figure 5(b). As seen
in this image, the delaminated zone has formed under
the surface crack and has been associated with pinhole
formation leading to the formation of a leakage path
for oil to reach the surface of the pipe. However, before
the completion of the pinhole formation, the pipe has
failed by a burst at the sealing region due to bottlenecking eect at the 11946th cycle. It can be seen that the
pinhole could not reach the surface crack. If this had
happened, the pipe would have burst at this region.

Fatigue damage behavior


Fatigue damage can be classied into ber debonding,
matrix cracking, delamination, and ber fracture.

Fiber debonding
The diameter of the pipes increased due to hoop stress,
similar to a compressed helical spring. The diametrical
expansion of the pipe caused a shear stress between the
ber bands. As a result of this situation, shear stress
among the bers caused ber debonding. The debonding damage can be related to the whitening along the
ber direction as shown in Figures 5, 6(a), 7, and 8.

1046

Journal of Composite Materials 46(9)

Figure 5. Fatigue failure of the pipe (a/t 0.25,  applied 0.4  static, N 11,946). (a) Damage zone at the end of the pipe. (There is
no explode damage in the surface crack region). (b) Damage zone underneath the surface crack on the pipe (Penetrant dye: Methylene
blue).

Figure 6. Damage zone at the center of the (45 )3 filament wound GRP pipe (a/t 0.5,  applied 0.4  static, N 1,150).

Samanci et al.

1047

Figure 7. Damage zones of the (45 )3 filament-wound GRP pipe (a/t 0.5,  applied 0.4  static, N 380). (a) Matrix cracking.
(b) Oil droplets formation as a result of pinhole (N 750).

1048

Journal of Composite Materials 46(9)

Figure 8. The effect of stress ratio on where the fracture occurred for pipes with the same crack depth ratio (45 , a/t 0.25). (a)
Final failure near the sealing region ( applied 0.5  static, N 1430). (b) Final failure of the crack region ( applied 0.3  static, N
78.000).

Matrix cracking

Delamination

The hoop stress caused by the diametric expansion of


the pipe increased over the yield stress of the matrix
material. The matrix cracking occurred along the
pipe axis on the pipe surfaces. This matrix micro
cracking propagates with increase in the fatigue
cycle (Figure 7(a)). Figure 7(b) shows the oil droplet
on the surface of the pipe as a result of pinhole
formation.

The delamination damage mechanism occurred when


the fatigue cycle began. The diameter of the pipe
increased and the length of the pipe decreased with
increasing fatigue cycle under internal pressure. The
maximum level of this expansion-shortening of the
pipe caused a bottleneck eect near the piston seal at
both ends of the pipe. This bottleneck eect caused
bending stress due to the experimental conditions.

Samanci et al.
The pipes consist of six layers, which have 45 lament winding. These layers are similar to coaxial helical springs that have dierent diameters. The 45
lament winding angle can be considered a rightleft
helix. The shear stress as dened by MOD III occurred
between the dierent winding angle layers. The other
mechanism is bending stress as dened by MOD II. The
bending stress occurred due to the eect of bottlenecking. The nal failure in the GRP pipe with a low crack/
depth ratio occurred due to the bottleneck eect at the
end of the pipe.

1049

Fiber fracture
Due to ber debonding, matrix cracking, and delamination failures, the pipes showed a sudden increase in
successive and instantaneous ber breakage. Figure 8
shows the nal damage of the pipes loaded at maximum
and minimum (50% and 30% of static hoop stress,
respectively) stress levels of test loads. The nal failure
began with sweating of the pipe shell surrounding
the pinhole. Catastrophic failure occurred with ber
pullout and fracture. The macrocrack propagation
occurred parallel to the ber direction in which the
minimum amount of energy had been dissipated to
achieve ber pullout and fracture. As seen in Figure
8(b), the pipes showed triangular leaf-shaped openings
when they underwent sudden bursting. A similar failure
mechanism was reported by Gemi et al.16 The stress
ratio aected where the fracture occurred, whether in
the crack region or sealing region of the pipe for the
pipes with the same crack/depth ratio. For instance, the
damage occurred in the crack region when a low stress
ratio (0.3 static) was applied. On the contrary, the
damage occurred in the sealing region with a high
stress ratio (0.5 static). Both situations are shown in
Figure 8.

Conclusion
Experimental investigations of (45 )3 lament-wound
GRP pipes with a surface crack were conducted. The
GRP pipes with a surface crack were exposed to openended internal pressure. The fatigue failure behavior of
composite pipes was investigated. The conclusions are
as follows:
. The damage starts with whitening and matrix cracking. With the help of matrix cracking, a leakage path
starts to form from the inner side toward the bottom
of the surface crack. Once the leakage path is completed, the leakage begins. This damage stage is followed by the catastrophic failure of the pipe.
. It is observed that when the applied load is high,
the leakage and nal failure coincide, whereas

when the applied load is low, the leakage is followed


by the nal failure. In other words, when the applied
load is high, the pipe suddenly bursts without any
leakage, and when the applied load is low, the pipe
shows leakage rst and then fails.
Fiber debonding, matrix cracking, delamination,
and ber fracture aect the damage formation and
propagation. The rst three damage stages occur
simultaneously, and then nal failure (ber fracture)
occurs.
The damage occurred in the crack region when the
low stress ratio ( applied 0.3 static) was applied. On
the contrary, the damage occurred near the sealing
region with a high stress ratio ( applied 0.5 static).
The maximum fatigue life is obtained in the crack
region with N 78.000 for the pipes with a/t 0.25,
 applied 0.3 static. The minimum fatigue life is
obtained in the crack region with N 175 for the
pipes with a/t 0.5,  applied 0.5 static.
Authors believe that bottlenecking eect can be
eliminated by increasing the pipe thickness gradually
at the sealing region.

Acknowledgment
The authors acknowledge the support of the Coordination
Committee of Scientic Research projects of Selcuk
University, Project no: 2003-45.

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