Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Constantine Tarawneh

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Jones

Third Advisor

Dr. Arturo Fuentes


Composite Access Products (CAP) is a company that is determined to replace traditional steel manhole covers with fiber reinforced polymer alternatives that have similar performance while also introducing several advantages. CAP can achieve this by manufacturing the polymer manhole covers using high-speed, high pressure compressing molding to produce lightweight, long-lasting, corrosive resistant covers. CAP’s composite covers have been approved for use by TXDOT in roadway zones. Despite this, they must now undergo more testing and verification for use in environments with highly corrosive elements such as sewage environments and waste processing plants. In these situations, the polymer manhole covers will be exposed to high amounts of hydrogen sulfide - a gas yielded by microbiology from human waste that interacts with moisture to produce sulfuric acid. The tests in this study will be used to determine how the structural integrity of the manhole cover will perform when exposed to an expected range of acidity levels. A fracture analysis will be performed to observe the effects of different concentrations of sulfuric acid on the tested material. This investigation will serve to prove whether this new product is suitable for use in highly corrosive environments.


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