Analytical and finite element modeling of pressure vessels for seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants

A. M. Kamal, T. A. El-Sayed*, A. M. A. El-Butch, S. H. Farghaly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


A pressure vessel (PV) which contains the membrane elements of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination has been modeled using analytical solution and finite element modeling (FEM) to optimize the PV design parameters. Two types of PV materials have been compared namely; stainless steel and fiber reinforced composite materials. Von-Mises yield criterion and Tsai-Wu failure criterion are used for the design of stainless steel and composite PVs respectively. E-glass/epoxy and carbon/epoxy composite materials are considered in this work. In addition, hybrid composite materials are introduced for layers through the vessel thickness. The results have shown that the optimum lay-up is achieved using the angle-ply [± ϴ]ns at winding angle of 54° for E-glass/epoxy and 55° for carbon/epoxy PVs while for hybrid composite PVs the optimum lay-up is [90G/±50C/90G]ns. Also, the results have shown that the composite PVs have lighter weight than the stainless steel PVs. The carbon/epoxy PVs introduce the optimum weight savings but in terms of the total PVs cost, the hybrid composite PVs can be used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-139
Number of pages14
Early online date5 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016



  • Analytical and FEM
  • Composite materials
  • Membrane unit
  • Pressure vessel
  • Sea water desalination plant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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