Development and characterization of composite materials for production of composite risers by filament winding


Materials Research




Industry has been challenged to provide riser systems which are more cost effective and which can fill the technology gaps with respect to water depth, riser diameter and high temperatures left open by flexibles, steel catenary risers (SCRs) and hybrid risers. Composite materials present advantages over conventional steel risers because composite materials are lighter, more fatigue and corrosion resistant, better thermal insulators and can be designed for improving the structural and mechanical response. This paper contains a study of the toughening mechanism of an epoxy resin under rubber addition by means of fractographic analysis and its relation with the fracture process and increase of strength of a composite riser employing this polymeric matrix. Initially, an epoxy resin system was toughened by rubber CTBN addition (10 wt. (%)) as a way of improving the flexibility of future risers. Mechanical and thermal analyses were carried out for characterizing the polymeric systems. Later, composite tubes were prepared and mechanically characterized. The influence of matrix toughening on the mechanical behavior of the tubes was also studied. Split-disk tests were used to determine the hoop tensile strength of these specimens. The results indicate that the matrix plays an important role in composite fracture processes. The adding rubber to the polymeric matrix promoted a simultaneous increase of stress and elongation at fracture of the tubes manufactured herein, which is not often reported. These results, probably, is function of better adhesion between fibers and polymeric matrix observed in the CTBN-modified composite rings, which was evidenced in the fractografic analysis by SEM after the split-disk tests.

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