High pressure Type 2 hoop-wrapped, thick-walled vessels are commonly used at hydrogen refueling stations. Vessels installed at stations circa 2010 are now reaching their design cycle limit and are being retired, which is the motivation for exploring life extension opportunities. The number of design cycles is based on a fatigue life calculation using a fracture mechanics assessment according to ASME Section VIII, Division 3, which assumes each cycle is the full pressure range identified in the User’s Design Specification for a given pressure vessel design; however, assessment of service data reveals that the actual pressure cycles are more conservative than the design specification. A case study was performed in which in-service pressure cycles were used to re-calculate the design cycles. It was found that less than 1% of the allowable crack extension was consumed when crack growth was assessed using in-service design pressures compared to the original design fatigue life from 2010. Additionally, design cycles were assessed on the 2010 era vessels based on design curves from the recently approved ASME Code Case 2938, which were based on fatigue crack growth rate relationships over a broader range of ΔK. Using the Code Case 2938 design curves yielded nearly 2.7 times greater design cycles compared to the 2010 vessel original design basis. The benefits of using in-service pressure cycles to assess the design life and the implications of using the design curves in Code Case 2938 are discussed in detail in this paper.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.