Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Engineering, Materials Science.


Watt, Daniel F.,




Presently most road and railway vehicles designed to haul toxic or flammable liquids are built with a single shell tank construction. The transportation of hazardous liquids poses a problem if the vehicle hauling the liquid is involved in an accident. Loss of liquid can happen if the tank integrity is compromised. The current work is an attempt to develop a lightweight, relatively inexpensive, sparsely reinforced elastomer liner material to incorporate inside the containers, to contain leakage should the outer shell fail. The general design methodology is thus Fail-Safe Design. If this were designed properly to be an inexpensive easily replaceable disposable item, it could prevent significant liquid loss, and reduce subsequent clean-up costs. Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) elastomer is chosen as an ideal candidate for at least one side of the sheet matrix material because of its high strength, tear resistance, puncture and cut resistance, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, and generally good impermeability to fluids being transported. In this project, sparsely reinforced TPU elastomer composites have been developed. The TPU matrix was reinforced with webs of continuous fibers of various types and patterns, wherein the reinforcement serves as a load carrying structural element designed to resist both crack initiation and propagation. A unique thermoforming process technique has been designed specifically to produce the sparsely reinforced sheet material. Representative sheets of these materials have been studied for strength, toughness and different deformation behaviours by the means of tensile tests, tear tests, snag tests, slow puncture tests, and hydraulic bulge tests. A series of test apparatus have been designed and built for examining these mechanical properties. Also, the effect of different reinforcements, web patterns and strand diameters on the mechanical properties has been investigated. The sparsely reinforced TPU composites produce outstanding tear strength, snagging resistance, and an increase in the elongation to failure in an ASTM Die-C type of tear test. The best material of those tested to date is TPU sheet reinforced sparsely with a web of extruded polyurethane fiber. The intersections of the polyurethane rod reinforcements are very effective crack arrestors.Dept. of Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1995 .P35. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 57-07, Section: B, page: 4643. Adviser: Daniel F. Watt. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.