(19)
(11)EP 3 458 768 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
17.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/25

(21)Application number: 17721295.8

(22)Date of filing:  24.04.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F17C 1/06(2006.01)
F17C 1/16(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2017/029080
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/200713 (23.11.2017 Gazette  2017/47)

(54)

PRESSURE VESSEL LINER VENTING VIA NANOTEXTURED SURFACE

DRUCKBEHÄLTERAUSKLEIDUNGSENTLÜFTUNG ÜBER EINE NANOSTRUKTURIERTE OBERFLÄCHE

VENTILATION D'UN REVÊTEMENT DE RÉCIPIENT SOUS PRESSION VIA UNE SURFACE NANOTEXTURÉE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 17.05.2016 US 201662337450 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
27.03.2019 Bulletin 2019/13

(73)Proprietor: Hexagon Technology AS
6002 Sentrum, Alesund (NO)

(72)Inventor:
  • NEWHOUSE, Norman, L.
    Lincoln, Nebraska 68524 (US)

(74)Representative: Downing, Michael Philip 
Downing IP Limited Grosvenor House
7 Horseshoe Crescent Beaconsfield, Bucks. HP9 1LJ
7 Horseshoe Crescent Beaconsfield, Bucks. HP9 1LJ (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 2 889 527
JP-A- 2009 174 700
US-A1- 2014 103 051
FR-A1- 2 956 185
US-A1- 2009 057 319
US-A1- 2016 025 266
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND



    [0001] Pressure vessels are commonly used for containing a variety of fluids under pressure, such as storing hydrogen, oxygen, natural gas, nitrogen, propane, methane, and other fuels, for example. Suitable container shell materials include laminated layers of wound fiberglass filaments or other synthetic filaments bonded together by a thermal-setting or thermoplastic resin. A polymeric or other non-metallic resilient liner or bladder often is disposed within the composite shell to seal the vessel and prevent internal fluids from contacting the composite material. The composite construction of the vessels provides numerous advantages such as lightness in weight and resistance to corrosion, fatigue and catastrophic failure. These attributes are due at least in part to the high specific strengths of the reinforcing fibers or filaments that are typically oriented in the direction of the principal forces in the construction of the pressure vessels.

    [0002] FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a conventional elongated pressure vessel 10, such as that disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 5,476,189, entitled "Pressure vessel with damage mitigating system. Vessel 10 has a main body section 18 with end sections 14. A boss 16, typically constructed of aluminum, is provided at one or both ends of the vessel 10 to provide a port for communicating with the interior of the vessel 10. The vessel 10 has an inner polymer liner 20 covered by an outer composite shell 12. In this case, "composite" means a fiber reinforced resin matrix material, such as a filament wound or laminated structure. The composite shell 12 resolves structural loads on the vessel 10.

    [0003] Although the liner 20 provides a gas barrier under typical operating conditions, the design of a pressure vessel 10 of this type produces a phenomenon wherein gas diffuses into the liner 20 under pressurization. When depressurization of the vessel 10 occurs, this gas diffuses into the interface or space between the liner 20 and the composite shell 12. A pocket of gas may thereby be formed, causing the liner 20 to bulge inward. At low pressure, laminate strain in the composite shell 12 is low, and microcracks in the shell 18 close up, effectively forming a seal; when a higher pressure is reached, those microcracks open up again, thereby allowing expulsion of the trapped pocket of gas. Thus, when the vessel 10 is re-pressurized, pressure builds up against liner 20, pushing against the trapped gas pocket, making the bulge in the liner 20 smaller until the gas is ultimately expelled through the composite shell 12 to the atmosphere. Such expulsion of gas through shell 12 may occur in a short time interval and can cause a significant concentration of gas to become present in the surroundings of the vessel 10. This may set off a leak detector around the vessel 10, when actually there is no steady leak from the liner 20.

    [0004] US 2016/025266 discloses a polar boss connection for a pressurized composite gaseous storage tank, the boss having a longitudinally extending body with a top surface having flange forming a planar bottom surface with a fluid connection through the boss further including a liner mounting connection (LMC) on the flange bottom surface; the LMC having a groove adapted to be threadably engaged with a liner neck; and, a migration passage fluidly connecting LMC to the fluid connection of the boss. FR2956185 discloses a composite tank for pressurized gas comprising a sealed inner envelope having an opening at one of its ends, a base fixed at the opening of the inner envelope, the base being designed to receive or integrate a valve or a valve, the reservoir also comprising an outer mechanical reinforcing shell disposed on at least a portion of the inner casing, characterized in that at least a portion of the gap between the inner shell and the outer mechanical reinforcing shell is connected to at least one collecting zone of the gas which can accumulate in said gap, the at least one collecting zone opening towards a determined discharge zone external to the gap. JP 2009 174700 discloses a gas tank capable of restraining the outflow of high concentration gas in a short time, in which the outer peripheral side of a liner attached with a base member is covered with a fiber-reinforced resin layer. A vent layer having a fine void generated between fibers included therein and communicating in the axial direction, is arranged in an inner layer part of the fiber reinforced resin layer. EP2889527 discloses a reservoir for the storage of liquid or gaseous media under pressure, comprising an inner casing defining a storage chamber, said inner casing comprising an opening, a base placed at level of said opening for providing the inner / outer connection of said tank and a mechanical reinforcing shell surrounding at least said inner shell. According to the invention, said base comprises a first base portion secured solely to said inner casing and a second base portion secured solely to said casing of mechanical reinforcement, said first and second base portions being distinct and not interconnected, the space separating said base portions forming a vent ensuring the evacuation of gases having passed through the wall of the envelope inside. US 2014/103051 discloses a pressure gas container including a liner to store a gas, a reinforcing layer provided on an outer side of the liner, a boss attached to the liner, and an attachment attached to an outer surface of the liner. The boss has an opening through which the gas is introduced into the liner and through which the gas inside the liner is released. The attachment is to support the liner rotatably when the reinforcing layer is provided. At least one of the boss and the attachment has a gas release channel that allows communication between a gap formed between the outer side and an inner side of the reinforcing layer and a space outside the pressure gas container to release the gas having permeated through the liner and present in the gap between the liner and the reinforcing layer to the space.

    SUMMARY



    [0005] In one aspect, a pressure vessel has a first end with a first boss, the first boss having a first outer surface. The vessel includes a liner having a second outer surface, a shell disposed over the second outer surface, and a first vent. The first vent is etched onto at least a portion of the first outer surface and at least a portion of the second outer surface. The first vent includes a texture that provides a higher rate of gas flow through the first vent than through a portion of an interface of the liner and shell lacking the texture.

    [0006] In another aspect, a pressure vessel has a first end and a second end. The first end has a first boss having a first outer surface, and the second end has a second boss having a second outer surface. The vessel includes a liner having a third outer surface, a shell disposed over the third outer surface, a plurality of first longitudinal vents and a plurality of second longitudinal vents. Each of the first longitudinal vents is etched onto a portion of the first outer surface and a portion of the third outer surface. Each of the first longitudinal vents includes a texture that provides a higher rate of gas flow through the first longitudinal vent than through a portion of an interface of the liner and shell lacking the texture. Each of the second longitudinal vents is etched onto a portion of the second outer surface and a portion of the third outer surface. Each of the second longitudinal vents includes a texture that provides a higher rate of gas flow through the second longitudinal vent than through a portion of an interface lacking the texture. At least one of first longitudinal vents is circumferentially offset around the pressure vessel from at least one of the second longitudinal vents.

    [0007] The present invention is defined in the appended claims.

    [0008] This summary is provided to introduce concepts in simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the disclosed or claimed subject matter and is not intended to describe each disclosed embodiment or every implementation of the disclosed or claimed subject matter. Specifically, features disclosed herein with respect to one embodiment may be equally applicable to another. Further, this summary is not intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter. Many other novel advantages, features, and relationships will become apparent as this description proceeds. The figures and the description that follow more particularly exemplify illustrative embodiments.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0009] The disclosed subject matter will be further explained with reference to the attached figures, wherein like and analogous structure or system elements are referred to by like reference numerals throughout the several views. All descriptions of structures apply equally to like or analogous structures.

    FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a typical elongated pressure vessel.

    FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view through one end of such a pressure vessel, taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

    FIG. 3 is an enlarged partial cross-sectional view of a pressure vessel incorporating an exemplary embodiment of a nano-textured liner surface vent of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3, of a first exemplary longitudinal nano-textured liner surface vent at the interface of the liner and composite shell.

    FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of an elongated pressure vessel incorporating exemplary arrangements of longitudinal nano-textured liner surface vents.

    FIGS. 6(a) - 6(i) are photographs showing topographical features of exemplary nanotextured liner surface vents.



    [0010] While the above-identified figures set forth one or more embodiments of the disclosed subject matter, other embodiments are also contemplated, as noted herein. In all cases, this subject matter herein is disclosed by way of representation and not limitation. It should be understood that numerous other modifications and embodiments can be devised by those skilled in the art which fall within the scope of the principles of this disclosure as defined by the claims.

    [0011] The figures may not be drawn to scale. In particular, some feature may be enlarged relative to other features for clarity. Moreover, where terms such as above, below, over, under, top, bottom, side, right, left, etc., are used, it is to be understood that they are used only for ease of understanding the description. It is contemplated that structures may be otherwise oriented.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0012] This disclosure relates to providing a vent path to prevent gas and pressure build up between the liner 20' and the composite shell 12 of a pressure vessel 10'. This vent path allows gas, such as hydrogen, to escape at a steadier rate, preventing leak detector disturbances. Moreover, the disclosed vent path prevents the liner 20' from bulging or buckling inwardly, thereby preventing localized weakening that may result in shorter life of the liner 20'. Exemplary embodiments of such a vent path are provided as longitudinal vents 22 of FIGS. 3-5. As shown in FIG. 3, an end 22a of longitudinal vent 22 adjacent boss 16 is open to the atmosphere.

    [0013] A method of forming a pressure vessel 10' includes mounting a boss 16 on a mandrel (not shown) and allowing a fluid polymer material for liner 20' to flow around flange 32 and into grooves 34 of boss 16. The liner material then solidifies, thereby forming liner 20', which is mechanically interlocked with boss 16. Accordingly, even under extreme pressure conditions, separation of liner 20' from boss 16 is prevented.

    [0014] In some embodiments, the liner 20' can be made of plastic, elastomers, or other polymers, and can be manufactured by compression molding, blow molding, injection molding or any other generally known technique. In other embodiments, the liner 20' can include other materials, including but not limited to metals such as steel, aluminum, nickel, titanium, stainless steel, and any alloys thereof. Suitable metals can be generally characterized as having a high modulus of elasticity. In one embodiment, the liner 20' is formed of blow molded high density polyethylene (HDPE).

    [0015] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, in forming vessel 10', prior to winding fibers of composite material around liner 20' to form shell 12, one or more vents 22 are etched onto at least a portion of outer surface 24 of the liner 20' and at least a portion of the outer surface of boss 16'. The etching provides a vent 22 having a rough surface texture at the liner and shell interface 26, wherein the texture provides a higher rate of gas flow through the vent 22 than through a portion of interface 26 lacking the texture. Vent 22 thereby providing a tortuous pathway along the roughened surface 24 of liner 20' for gas to escape from interface 26 between liner 20' and shell 12. An optional auxiliary outer layer may also be formed on shell 12.

    [0016] As shown in FIG. 5, in an exemplary embodiment, each vent 22 extends from a boss 16' at least to center 30 of pressure vessel 10'. In an embodiment, a vent 22 may extend from a first boss 16a' all the way to a second boss 16b'. In still other embodiments, an etched vent surface may be provided substantially over an entire surface 24 of liner 20' facing shell 12, rather than along longitudinal pathways. As shown in FIG. 3, in an exemplary embodiment, an end of vent 22a is exposed to the atmosphere outside of pressure vessel 10'. The vent 22 defines a tortuous path on the etched surface portion of surface 24, through which fluid at the interface 26 between shell 12 and the underlying liner 20' and boss 16' can travel to exhaust at vent end 22a to the atmosphere. Vent 22 is formed by laser, chemical, or mechanical etching, for example, to modify at least portions of the outer surface 24 of the liner 20' and the outer surface of the boss 16'. In an exemplary embodiment, about three to about four laser etched vents 22 are provided for a pressure vessel 10'. However, the use of more or fewer vents 22 on a pressure vessel is also contemplated.

    [0017] Outer shell 12 is formed surrounding the liner 20' and at least a portion of flange 32 of boss 16'. Suitable materials for shell 12 include a composite of laminated layers of wound fiberglass fibers or filaments or other synthetic filaments bonded together by a thermal-setting or thermoplastic resin. The fiber may be fiberglass, aramid, carbon, graphite, or any other generally known fibrous reinforcing material or combination of fibrous reinforcing materials. The resin matrix used may be epoxy, polyester, vinyl ester, thermoplastic or any other suitable resinous material capable of providing fiber to fiber bonding, fiber layer to layer bonding, and the fragmentation resistance required for the particular application in which the vessel is to be used. In an exemplary method, a dispensing head for the fibers moves in such a way as to wrap the fiber on the liner 20' in a desired pattern. If the vessel 10' is cylindrical, rather than spherical, fiber winding is normally applied in both a substantially longitudinal (helical) and a circumferential (hoop) wrap. This winding process is defined by a number of factors, such as resin content, fiber configuration, winding tension, and the pattern of the wrap in relation to the axis of the liner 20'. Details relevant to the formation of an exemplary pressure vessel are disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 4,838,971, entitled "Filament Winding Process and Apparatus.

    [0018] When fluid is contained in vessel 10' under pressure, some fluid may permeate through liner 20' and into the interface 26 between liner 20' and shell 12. The presence of gas at the interface 26 may compromise the sealed relationship of the boss 16 and liner 20', cause localized weakening of liner 20', and cause gas expulsion through shell 12 to the atmosphere outside vessel 10'. In an exemplary embodiment, a single or plurality of vents 22 are provided on exterior surface 24 of liner 20' to fluidly connect the interface 26 to the atmosphere via a designated pathway defined by the portion of surface 24 that is provided with a nanotexture, such as by etching.

    [0019] In an exemplary embodiment, as illustrated by FIG. 5, longitudinal vents 22 extend from at least a boss 16a' or 16b' to a point near or past center 30 of the cylindrical main section 18 of the cylindrical vessel 10'. The center 30 of the cylindrical main body section 18 is typically the most compliant (i.e., same strength; but less edge support) portion of the vessel 10' and is thus the most likely area to exhibit bulging or buckling of the vessel liner 20 inwardly because of gas buildup. In an exemplary embodiment, at least one of the longitudinal vents 22 from boss 16a and at least one of the longitudinal vents 22 from boss 16b extends to and/or beyond the intermediate portion of the pressure vessel 10' proximate center 30. Thus, an arrangement of vents 22 as shown in FIG. 5 places about twice the number of vents 22 proximate center 30 compared to the number of vents proximate end sections 14a', 14b'.

    [0020] On any particular vessel, only one longitudinal vent 22 may be required, such as shown in the left half of FIG. 5. Multiple longitudinal vents 22 may also be provided, however, such as shown in the right half of FIG. 5. In one exemplary embodiment, vents 22 are arranged so that circumferentially adjacent vents extend to opposite bosses 16a', 16b'. In such a case, a first plurality of longitudinal vents 22 are directed to the boss 16a' on one end 14a' of vessel 10' and a second plurality of longitudinal vents 22 are directed to the boss 16b' on the opposite end 14b' of vessel 10'. The two sets of longitudinal vents 22 are alternately arranged around the circumference of vessel 10' so that they extend alternately from the respective boss 16a', 16b' at least to center line 30. In the illustrated embodiment, two circumferentially adjacent longitudinal vents 22 are circumferentially offset from each other and are directed to opposite ends 14a', 14b' of vessel 10'. In yet another embodiment, a single longitudinal vent extends from one boss 16a' to the opposite boss 16b'. In the illustrated embodiment, pressure vessel 10' has an intermediate, substantially cylindrical portion proximate center 10.

    [0021] In an exemplary embodiment, a vessel 10" having a length of about 24 inches (60,96 cm) to about 60 inches (152,4 cm) includes about four vents 22 having a width of about ¼ inch (0,63 cm) to about ½ inch (1,27 cm) each. However, it is contemplated that more or fewer, wider or narrower, vents 22 could be used on any vessel. While the illustrated embodiments show one or a plurality of discrete longitudinal vents 22, it is also contemplated that a more extensive venting layer may be used, wherein more of surface 24 liner 20' is provided with a nanotextured characteristic. Moreover, while vents 22 are illustrated as including straight lines, it is contemplated that the vents 22 may alternatively or additionally include a serpentine or other shape or configuration. It is contemplated that fewer or more vents 22 may be used on a pressure vessel 10'. Moreover, the vents 22 may be sized differently than in the exemplary embodiments. Additionally, while a plurality of vents 22 for a particular pressure vessel 10' may all be of the same size and shape and symmetrically placed about a circumference of pressure vessel 10', it is also contemplated that vents 22 may alternatively possess a combination of different sizes, shapes, changing widths, and placements in a single pressure vessel.

    [0022] FIGS. 6(a) - 6(i) are photographs showing topographical features of exemplary nanotextured vents 22. As shown in FIG. 3, a texturing or etching process is completed on the outer surface 24 of liner 20' and the outer surface of flange 32 and neck 28 of boss 16 to form vents 22. Such a texturing or etching process may be accomplished with sandblasting, knurling, laser light, chemicals, nano-silica particle blasting, or other means of imparting surface deformities to outer surface 24 of liner 20'. While etching processes generally remove material from a surface, other suitable ways of imparting surface deformities to outer surface 24 of liner 20' including depositing material on outer surface 24 of liner 20' to form a textured surface capable of providing a higher gas flow rate thereon compared to an adjacent surface without material deposited thereon. The resulting surface of vent 22, embodiments of which are shown in FIGS. 6(a) - 6(i), includes a plurality of surface peaks (some of which are labeled with reference numbers 1 and 2) and valleys between the peaks. A 5 micrometer length gauge is shown in FIGS. 6(a) - 6(i). In an exemplary embodiment, each vent 22 has a surface texture in which a distance between adjacent surface peaks averages between about 5 micrometers and about 20 micrometers. Because of the small scale of the textured surface, it is sometimes referred to as a "nanotextured surface." The "nanotextured surface" is to be distinguished from surfaces having macro-scale features such as machined channels and grooves. In an exemplary embodiment, the surface texture of vents 22 is fine enough that liquids such as the matrix (e.g., resin and filament) material for shell 12 does not fully penetrate or wet the surface, but rather floats on the peaks, thereby allowing a porous gas vent path 22 to remain within the valleys of the nanotextured portion of surface 24.

    [0023] An exemplary, non-limiting embodiment of a pressure vessel 10' is described and shown. In an exemplary embodiment, such as illustrated in FIGS. 3-5, pressure vessel 10' has a first end 14a' with a first boss 16a', the first boss 16a' having a first outer surface 38. Liner 20' has a second outer surface 24. A composite shell 12 is disposed over the second outer surface 24. A first vent 22 is etched onto at least a portion of the first outer surface 38 and at least a portion of the second outer surface 24, the first vent 22 including a texture that provides a higher rate of gas flow through the first vent 22 than through a portion of an interface 26 of the liner 20' and shell 12 lacking the texture.

    [0024] In an exemplary embodiment, the first vent 22 includes a nanotextured portion of the first outer surface 38 and a nanotextured portion of the second outer surface 24. In an exemplary embodiment, the first vent 22 is elongated. In an exemplary embodiment, the first vent 22 is aligned substantially parallel to a longitudinal axis 36 of the pressure vessel 10'. In an exemplary embodiment, the pressure vessel 10' has a cylindrical portion 18, and the first vent 22 extends at least from the cylindrical portion 18 to the first boss 16a'. In an exemplary embodiment, the first vent 22 extends at least to a longitudinal midpoint 30 of the pressure vessel 10'. In an exemplary embodiment, an end 22a of the first vent 22 is disposed on a neck 28 of the first boss 16a'. In an exemplary embodiment, the end 22a is open to the atmosphere. In an exemplary embodiment, the textures includes a plurality of peaks and valleys, and a distance between adjacent peaks is in a range between about 5 micrometers and about 20 micrometers, as illustrated in FIGS. 6(a) - 6(i).

    [0025] In an exemplary embodiment, a pressure vessel 10' has a first end 14a' with a first boss 16a' having a first outer surface 38 and a second end 14b' with a second boss al6b' having a second outer surface 38. A liner 20' has a third outer surface 24. A shell 12 is disposed over the third outer surface 24. A plurality of first longitudinal vents 22 is etched onto a portion of the first outer surface 38 and a portion of the third outer surface 24, each first longitudinal vent 22 including a texture that provides a higher rate of gas flow through the first longitudinal vent 22 than through a portion of an interface 26 of the liner 20' and shell 12 lacking the texture. A plurality of second longitudinal vents 22 is etched onto a portion of the second outer surface 38 and a portion of the third outer surface 24, each second longitudinal vent 22 including a texture that provides a higher rate of gas flow through the second longitudinal vent 22 than through a portion of an interface 26 of the liner 20' and shell 12 lacking the texture. In an exemplary embodiment, at least one of first longitudinal vents 22 is circumferentially offset around the pressure vessel 10' from at least one of the second longitudinal vents 22. In an exemplary embodiment, at least one of the longitudinal vents 22 is aligned substantially parallel to a longitudinal axis 36 of the pressure vessel 10'. In an exemplary embodiment, at least one of the first and second longitudinal vents 22 includes a nanotextured portion of the third outer surface 24.

    [0026] In an exemplary embodiment, the pressure vessel 10' has a cylindrical portion 18, and at least one of the first longitudinal vents 22 extends at least from the cylindrical portion 18 to the first boss 16a'. In an exemplary embodiment, an end 22a of at least one of the first longitudinal vents 22 is disposed on a neck 28 of the first boss 16'. In an exemplary embodiment, the end 22a is open to the atmosphere. In an exemplary embodiment, at least one of the longitudinal vents 22 extends at least to a longitudinal midpoint 30 of the pressure vessel 10'. In an exemplary embodiment, the textures includes a plurality of peaks and valleys, and a distance between adjacent peaks is in a range between about 5 micrometers and about 20 micrometers, as illustrated in FIGS. 6(a) - 6(i).

    [0027] In an exemplary embodiment, a method for forming a pressure vessel 10' includes providing a boss 16' having a first outer surface 38; forming a liner 20' in contact with the boss 16', the liner 20' having a second outer surface 24; and forming a vent 22 on the boss 16' and liner 20' by imparting a nanotexture on at least a portion of the first outer surface 38 and at least a portion of the second outer surface 24. In an exemplary embodiment, imparting the nanotexture includes laser etching. In an exemplary embodiment, imparting the nanotexture includes chemical etching.

    [0028] Although the subject of this disclosure has been described with reference to several embodiments, workers skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the scope of the disclosure as defined by the claims. In addition, any feature disclosed with respect to one embodiment may be incorporated in another embodiment, and vice-versa.


    Claims

    1. A pressure vessel (10') having a first end (14, 14a') with a first boss (16', 16a'), the first boss (16', 16a') having a first outer surface (38), and the vessel (10') including:

    a liner (20') having a second outer surface (24);

    a shell (12) disposed over the second outer surface (24); and

    a first vent (22) formed onto at least a portion of the first outer surface (38) and at least a portion of the second outer surface (24), characterised in that the first vent includes a nanotextured surface on the first outer surface and on the second outer surface that provides a higher rate of gas flow through the first vent (22) than through a portion of an interface (26) of the liner (20') and shell (12) lacking the nanotextured surface.


     
    2. The pressure vessel (10') of claim 1 wherein the first vent (22) is elongated.
     
    3. The pressure vessel (10') of claim 2 wherein the first vent (22) is aligned substantially parallel to a longitudinal axis (36) of the pressure vessel (10').
     
    4. The pressure vessel (10') of any one of claims 1-3 wherein the pressure vessel (10') has a cylindrical portion (18), and wherein the first vent (22) extends at least from the cylindrical portion (18) to the first boss (16', 16a').
     
    5. The pressure vessel (10') of any one of claims 1-4 wherein the first vent (22) extends at least to a longitudinal midpoint (30) of the pressure vessel (10').
     
    6. The pressure vessel (10') of any one of claims 1-5 wherein an end (22a) of the first vent (22) is disposed on a neck (28) of the first boss (16', 16a').
     
    7. The pressure vessel (10') of claim 6 wherein the end (22a) is open to the atmosphere.
     
    8. The pressure vessel (10') of any one of claims 1-7 wherein the nanotextured surface includes a plurality of peaks and valleys, and wherein a distance between adjacent peaks is in a range between about 5 micrometers and about 20 micrometers.
     
    9. The pressure vessel (10') of any one of claims 1-8 having a second end (14b') with a second boss (16b') having a third outer surface (38), the vessel (10') including:
    a plurality of first longitudinal vents (22), wherein said first vent (22) is one of the plurality of first longitudinal vents (22); and
    a plurality of second longitudinal vents (22), each of the second longitudinal vents (22) formed onto a portion of the second outer surface (24) and a portion of the third surface (38), each second longitudinal vent (22) including a second nanotextured surface on the second and third outer surface, which provides a higher rate of gas flow through the second longitudinal vent (22) than through a portion of the interface (26) lacking the second nanotextured surface;
    wherein at least one of first longitudinal vents (22) is circumferentially offset around the pressure vessel (10') from at least one of the second longitudinal vents (22).
     
    10. The pressure vessel (10') of claim 9 wherein at least one of the first and second longitudinal vents (22) includes a nanotextured portion of the third outer surface (38).
     
    11. The pressure vessel (10') of any one of claims 9-10 wherein at least one of the longitudinal vents (22) extends at least to a longitudinal midpoint (30) of the pressure vessel (10').
     
    12. A method for forming a pressure vessel (10') including:

    providing a boss (16', 16a', 16b') having a first outer surface (38) at an end (14, 14a', 14b') of the pressure vessel (10');

    forming a liner (20') in contact with the boss (16'. 16a', 16b'), the liner (20') having a second outer surface (24);

    forming a shell (12) disposed over the second outer surface (24); and

    forming a vent (22) on at least a portion of the first outer surface (38) and at least a portion of the second outer surface (24) by imparting a nanotextured surface that provides a higher rate of gas flow through the vent (22) than through a portion of an interface (26) of the liner (20') and shell (12) lacking the texture.


     
    13. The method of claim 12, wherein imparting the nanotextured surface includes laser etching.
     
    14. The method of any one of claims 12-13, wherein imparting the nanotextured surface includes chemical etching.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Druckbehälter (10'), der ein erstes Ende (14, 14a') mit einem ersten Ansatz (16', 16a') hat, wobei der erste Ansatz (16', 16a') eine erste Außenfläche (38) hat und der Behälter (10') Folgendes aufweist:

    eine Auskleidung (20'), die eine zweite Außenfläche (24) hat;

    einen Mantel (12), der auf der zweiten Außenfläche (24) angeordnet ist; und

    eine erste Entlüftungsöffnung (22), die auf mindestens einem Teil der ersten Außenfläche (38) und mindestens einem Teil der zweiten Außenfläche (24) ausgebildet ist, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die erste Entlüftungsöffnung eine nanostrukturierte Oberfläche auf der ersten Außenfläche und auf der zweiten Außenfläche hat, die eine höhere Gasströmungsrate durch die erste Entlüftungsöffnung (22) als durch einen Teil einer Grenzfläche (26) der Auskleidung (20') und des Mantels (12) ohne die nanostrukturierte Oberfläche bereitstellt.


     
    2. Druckbehälter (10') nach Anspruch 1,
    wobei die erste Entlüftungsöffnung (22) länglich ist.
     
    3. Druckbehälter (10') nach Anspruch 2,
    wobei die erste Entlüftungsöffnung (22) im Wesentlichen parallel zu einer Längsachse (36) des Druckbehälters (10') ausgerichtet ist.
     
    4. Druckbehälter (10') nach einem der Ansprüche 1-3,
    wobei der Druckbehälter (10') einen zylindrischen Teil (18) hat, und wobei sich die erste Entlüftungsöffnung (22) mindestens von dem zylindrischen Teil (18) zu dem ersten Ansatz (16', 16a') erstreckt.
     
    5. Druckbehälter (10') nach einem der Ansprüche 1-4,
    wobei sich die erste Entlüftungsöffnung (22) mindestens zu einem Längsmittelpunkt (30) des Druckbehälters (10') erstreckt.
     
    6. Druckbehälter (10') nach einem der Ansprüche 1-5,
    wobei ein Ende (22a) der ersten Entlüftungsöffnung (22) an einem Hals (28) des ersten Ansatzes (16', 16a') angeordnet ist.
     
    7. Druckbehälter (10') nach Anspruch 6,
    wobei das Ende (22a) zur Atmosphäre offen ist.
     
    8. Druckbehälter (10') nach einem der Ansprüche 1-7,
    wobei die nanostrukturierte Oberfläche mehrere Spitzen und Täler aufweist, und wobei ein Abstand zwischen benachbarten Spitzen in einem Bereich zwischen ca. 5 Mikrometern und ca. 20 Mikrometern liegt.
     
    9. Druckbehälter (10') nach einem der Ansprüche 1-8, der ein zweites Ende (14b') mit einem zweiten Ansatz (16b') hat, welcher eine dritte Außenfläche (38) hat, wobei der Behälter (10') Folgendes aufweist:

    mehrere erste Längsentlüftungsöffnungen (22), wobei die erste Entlüftungsöffnung (22) eine der mehreren ersten Längsentlüftungsöffnungen (22) ist; und

    mehrere zweite Längsentlüftungsöffnungen (22), wobei jede der zweiten Längsentlüftungsöffnungen (22) auf einem Teil der zweiten Außenfläche (24) und einem Teil der dritten Fläche (38) ausgebildet ist, wobei jede zweite Längsentlüftungsöffnung (22) eine zweite nanostrukturierte Oberfläche auf der zweiten und der dritten Außenfläche aufweist, die eine höhere Gasströmungsrate durch die zweite Entlüftungsöffnung (22) als durch einen Teil der Grenzfläche (26) ohne die zweite nanostrukturierte Oberfläche bereitstellt;

    wobei mindestens eine der ersten Längsentlüftungsöffnungen (22) um den Umfang des Druckbehälters (10') herum von mindestens einer der zweiten Längsentlüftungsöffnungen (22) versetzt ist.


     
    10. Druckbehälter (10') nach Anspruch 9,
    wobei mindestens eine der ersten und zweiten Längsentlüftungsöffnungen (22) einen nanostrukturierten Teil der dritten Außenfläche (38) aufweist.
     
    11. Druckbehälter (10') nach einem der Ansprüche 9-10,
    wobei sich mindestens eine der Längsentlüftungsöffnungen (22) mindestens zu einem Längsmittelpunkt (30) des Druckbehälters (10') erstreckt.
     
    12. Verfahren zum Bilden eines Druckbehälters (10'), das Folgendes beinhaltet:

    Bereitstellen eines Ansatzes (16', 16a', 16b'), der eine erste Außenfläche (38) an einem Ende (14, 14a', 14b') des Druckbehälters (10') hat;

    Bilden einer Auskleidung (20') in Kontakt mit dem Ansatz (16', 16a', 16b'), wobei die Auskleidung (20') eine zweite Außenfläche (24) hat;

    Bilden eines auf der zweiten Außenfläche (24) angeordneten Mantels (12); und

    Bilden einer Entlüftungsöffnung (22) auf mindestens einem Teil der ersten Außenfläche (38) und mindestens einem Teil der zweiten Außenfläche (24) durch Verleihen einer nanostrukturierten Oberfläche, die eine höhere Gasströmungsrate durch die Entlüftungsöffnung (22) als durch einen Teil der Grenzfläche (26) der Auskleidung (20') und des Mantels (12) ohne die Strukturierung bereitstellt.


     
    13. Verfahren nach Anspruch 12,
    wobei das Verleihen der nanostrukturierten Oberfläche Laserätzen beinhaltet.
     
    14. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 12-13,
    wobei das Verleihen der nanostrukturierten Oberfläche chemisches Ätzen beinhaltet.
     


    Revendications

    1. Récipient sous pression (10') ayant une première extrémité (14, 14a') dotée d'un premier bossage (16', 16a'), le premier bossage (16', 16a') ayant une première surface extérieure (38), et le récipient (10') comportant :

    un revêtement (20') ayant une deuxième surface extérieure (24) ;

    une enveloppe (12) disposée sur la deuxième surface extérieure (24) ; et

    un premier évent (22) formé sur au moins une portion de la première surface extérieure (38) et au moins une portion de la deuxième surface extérieure (24), caractérisé en ce que le premier évent comporte une surface nanotexturée sur la première surface extérieure et sur la deuxième surface extérieure qui assure une vitesse plus élevée d'écoulement de gaz à travers le premier évent (22) qu'à travers une portion d'une interface (26) du revêtement (20') et de l'enveloppe (12) dépourvue de la surface nanotexturée.


     
    2. Récipient sous pression (10') selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le premier évent (22) est allongé.
     
    3. Récipient sous pression (10') selon la revendication 2, dans lequel le premier évent (22) est aligné sensiblement parallèlement à un axe longitudinal (36) du récipient sous pression (10').
     
    4. Récipient sous pression (10') selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, le récipient sous pression (10') ayant une portion cylindrique (18), et le premier évent (22) s'étendant au moins à partir de la portion cylindrique (18) jusqu'au premier bossage (16', 16a').
     
    5. Récipient sous pression (10') selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel le premier évent (22) s'étend au moins jusqu'à un point médian longitudinal (30) du récipient sous pression (10').
     
    6. Récipient sous pression (10') selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans lequel une extrémité (22a) du premier évent (22) est disposée sur un col (28) du premier bossage (16', 16a').
     
    7. Récipient sous pression (10') selon la revendication 6, dans lequel l'extrémité (22a) est ouverte sur l'atmosphère.
     
    8. Récipient sous pression (10') selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7, dans lequel la surface nanotexturée comporte une pluralité de crêtes et de creux, et dans lequel une distance entre des crêtes adjacentes se trouve dans une plage comprise entre environ 5 micromètres et environ 20 micromètres.
     
    9. Récipient sous pression (10') selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 8, ayant une deuxième extrémité (14b') dotée d'un deuxième bossage (16b') ayant une troisième surface extérieure (38), le récipient (10') comportant :

    une pluralité de premiers évents longitudinaux (22), dans lequel ledit premier évent (22) est un évent parmi la pluralité de premiers évents longitudinaux (22) ; et

    une pluralité de deuxièmes évents longitudinaux (22), chacun des deuxièmes évents longitudinaux (22) étant formé sur une portion de la deuxième surface extérieure (24) et une portion de la troisième surface (38), chaque deuxième évent longitudinal (22) comportant une deuxième surface nanotexturée sur la deuxième et la troisième surface extérieure, qui assure une vitesse plus élevée d'écoulement de gaz à travers le deuxième évent longitudinal (22) qu'à travers une portion de l'interface (26) dépourvue de la deuxième surface nanotexturée ;

    dans lequel au moins l'un des premiers évents longitudinaux (22) est décalé circonférentiellement autour du récipient sous pression (10') par rapport à au moins l'un des deuxièmes évents longitudinaux (22).


     
    10. Récipient sous pression (10') selon la revendication 9, dans lequel au moins l'un des premiers et deuxièmes évents longitudinaux (22) comporte une portion nanotexturée de la troisième surface extérieure (38).
     
    11. Récipient sous pression (10') selon l'une quelconque des revendications 9 et 10, dans lequel au moins l'un des évents longitudinaux (22) s'étend au moins jusqu'à un point médian longitudinal (30) du récipient sous pression (10').
     
    12. Procédé de formation d'un récipient sous pression (10') comportant :

    la fourniture d'un bossage (16', 16a', 16b') ayant une première surface extérieure (38) à une extrémité (14, 14a', 14b') du récipient sous pression (10') ;

    la formation d'un revêtement (20') en contact avec le bossage (16', 16a', 16b'), le revêtement (20') ayant une deuxième surface extérieure (24) ;

    la formation d'une enveloppe (12) disposée sur la deuxième surface extérieure (24) ; et

    la formation d'un évent (22) sur au moins une portion de la première surface extérieure (38) et au moins une portion de la deuxième surface extérieure (24) en conférant une surface nanotexturée qui assure une vitesse plus élevée d'écoulement de gaz à travers l'évent (22) qu'à travers une portion d'une interface (26) du revêtement (20') et de l'enveloppe (12) dépourvue de la texture.


     
    13. Procédé selon la revendication 12, dans lequel la réalisation de la surface nanotexturée comporte la gravure laser.
     
    14. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 12 et 13, dans lequel la réalisation de la surface nanotexturée comporte la gravure chimique.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description