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Dr Luke Djukic

TOPIC: Analysis and testing of thermoplastic liners with enhanced chemical resistance for transport of liquid dangerous goods

Authors: Luke P. Djukic1, Manudha T. Herath1, Roderick Sweeting2, Daniel C. Rodgers1
1Omni Tanker Pty Ltd, 2Advanced Composite Structures Australia

Presented by Dr Luke Djukic, Chief Technical Officer, Omni Tanker Pty Ltd


Polymer matrix composite tanks offer major advantages to the transport industry in terms of increased payload capacity and corrosion resistance, in comparison to conventional steel tanks. The chemical resistance and versatility can be enhanced through the addition of a thermoplastic liner. This paper presents a test program and finite element analysis of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) tank wall lined with linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) for the purpose of achieving type approval in accordance with United Nations ADR (European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road).

The LLDPE liner was tested, with and without CFRP backing, for use with 12-15% Sodium Hypochlorite and 98% Sulphuric Acid. Specimens were conditioned by contact with chemicals at 50°C for periods of 1000 and 2000 hours. Shore D hardness testing was performed periodically during the conditioning and three point bend tests were conducted following conditioning. When compared to unconditioned benchmarks, the specimens were found to pass ADR requirements; no significant strength reduction or damage was found to occur. Finite element analysis was performed on the tested specimens, and good correlation of results is demonstrated.

Keywords: Chemical conditioning, polyethylene, finite element analysis

Presenter’s bio

Dr Luke Djukic is the Chief Technical Officer of Omni Tanker, where he manages a team of engineers working on design and certification of new and existing tankers for bulk liquid transport. Dr Djukic led the development of the first carbon fibre reinforced polymer tank to be type approved under the United Nations ADR, which is the European Agreement for Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road.  Prior to working for Omni Tanker, Dr Djukic worked on Aerospace, Oil and Gas, Defence and Transport sector projects  for both Advanced Composite Structures Australia and Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures.