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- Annex b3-Histogram Development and Cycle Counting for Fatigue
- How to Find Errors in FEA
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PV Newsletter

Monthly Publication from CoDesign Engineering Skills Academy

The modes of failure assumed for the design of pressure vessel are either a) elastic failure, which is governed

by theory of elasticity, or b) plastic failure, which is governed by theory of plasticity. For thin-walled pressure

vessels, elastic failure is used for pressure vessel design by ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel codes.

The most commonly used theories of failure are:

Maximum principal stress theory

According to this theory, failure occurs when one of the three principal stresses reaches a stress value

of elastic limit as determined from a uniaxial tension test. This theory is meaningful for brittle fracture

applications.

Maximum shear stress theory

According to this theory, the maximum shear equals the shear stress at the elastic limit as determined

from the uniaxial tension test. Here the maximum shear stress is one half the difference between the

largest (say 1) and the smallest (say 3) principal stresses. This is also known as the Tresca criterion,

which states that yielding takes place when

This theory considers failure to have occurred when the distortion energy accumulated in the component

under stress reaches the elastic limit as determined by the distortion energy in a uniaxial tension test.

This is also known as von Mises criterion, which states that yielding takes place when

The difference between the Tresca and von Mises criteria can be highlighted by considering a simplified case of

bi-axial stress state, where we assume that the principal stress

is zero.

Figure 1:

Tresca and von Mises Theories of Failure

equal in magnitude when in tension or in compression.

According to Tresca criterion, the values of 1 and 2 falling on

the hexagon and outside would cause yielding. According to von

Mises criterion, the points falling on or outside of the ellipse

would cause yielding.

Page 1 of 6

PV Newsletter Volume 2012, Issue 11: Pressure Vessel Design Criteria

Theories of Failure used in ASME Section VIII Codes

ASME Section VIII, Division 1 (ASME VIII-1) uses the maximum principal stress theory. Although this theory is

more appropriate for materials such as cast iron at room temperature, and for mild steels at temperatures below

the nil ductility temperature (NDT), the reason it finds favor with ASME VIII-1 is because it is simple and reduces

the amount of analysis. However, it does necessitate a large factor of safety.

ASME VIII-2 uses the maximum distortion energy theory (von Mises criterion). As can be seen from Figure 1,

this theory results in continuous (ellipse) function (as opposed to discontinuous - hexagon - function for Tresca

criterion) and is easily adaptable for calculations using computers.

The modes that are most likely to cause a failure in pressure vessels are:

Excessive elastic deformation including elastic instability - This failure mode is generally related to

functional requirements. The aspect of elastic instability deals with the propensity of buckling in thin

shells.

Excessive plastic deformation - This failure mode leads to complete collapse in pressure vessels.

Brittle fracture - The failure mode associated with brittle fracture is related to fracture toughness.

Stress rupture or creep deformation (inelastic) - This failure mode is associated with pressure vessels

operating at high temperatures.

Plastic instability and incremental collapse - This failure mode is due to ratcheting that causes

progressive growth due to cyclic load application

High strain and low cycle fatigue - The high strain and low cycle fatigue is an important consideration for

cycle thermal loads.

Stress corrosion and corrosion fatigue - These failure modes are related to the environmental

considerations as well as mode of operation.

In order for sustained loads to produce full collapse in a structure, it is necessary that the loads produce full

plasticity over the cross section bearing the load. The stresses produced from sustained loads are designated

primary stresses (Pm). In order to avoid gross distortion, it is necessary to avoid a significant portion of the wall of

the vessel from becoming fully plastic. For an elastic-perfectly plastic stress strain law (Figure 2), such a vessel

would be fully plastic when the membrane stress reaches the yield stress. A safety factor of 1.5 is provided to

avoid this situation. The allowable design stress (primary membrane) is limited to a stress limit typically two-third

of the yield stress.

perfectly Plastic Material

Page 2 of 6

PV Newsletter Volume 2012, Issue 11: Pressure Vessel Design Criteria

Large bending moments acting over the full cross section can also produce structural collapse. The set of

bending stresses generated by sustained bending moments are termed primary bending stresses, Pb. The mode

of collapse is bending, as opposed to extension, and the collapse will take place only when there is complete

plastic yielding of the net cross section. The pattern of plasticity so formed consists of the part of the cross

section becoming plastic in tension and the remainder of the section becoming plastic in compression.

When there are both direct (membrane) as well as bending stresses, the avoidance of gross distortion in a

pressure vessel is treated in the same way as direct and bending stresses in a rectangular beam. If such a beam

is loaded in bending, collapse does not occur until the load has been increased by a factor known as the shape

factor of the cross-section. The shape factor of a rectangular section in bending is 1.5. When the primary stress

in a rectangular section consists of a combination of bending and axial tension, the value of the limit load

depends on the ratio between the tensile and bending loads.

rectangular beam

Figure on the left shows the value of the maximum calculated stress at

the outer fiber of a rectangular section required to produce a plastic

collapse plotted against the average tensile stress across the section,

with both values expressed as multiples of the yield stress, Sy. When

the average tensile stress Pm is zero, the failure stress for bending is

1.5Sy. The ASME Code limits the combination of the membrane and

bending to the yield stress.

Service Limits

The loading conditions that are generally considered for the design of pressure vessels include pressure, dead

weight, piping reaction, seismic, thermal expansion, and loadings due to wind. The ASME Code delineates the

various loads in terms of the following conditions:

1. Design

ASME VIII-1 sets following limits on the design stress values (From UG-23).

Induced maximum general primary membrane stress shall not exceed the maximum allowable

stress value in tension.

For the combination of earthquake loading, or wind loading with other loading in UG-22, general

primary membrane stress shall not exceed 1.2 times the maximum allowable stress. Earthquake

loading and wind loading need not be considered to act simultaneously.

Combined maximum primary membrane stress plus primary bending stress across the thickness

shall not exceed 1.5 times the maximum allowable stress in tension. Pressure vessels with such

loadings may have high localized discontinuity stresses; however, design rules have been written to

generally limit these stresses to a safe level consistent with experience.

Page 3 of 6

PV Newsletter Volume 2012, Issue 11: Pressure Vessel Design Criteria

Combined maximum primary membrane stress plus secondary stresses at discontinuities shall be

limited to SPS, where SPS = 3S, and S is the maximum allowable stress of the material at

temperature

In lieu of using SPS = 3S, a value of SPS = 2SY may be used, where SY is the yield strength at

temperature, provided the following are met:

o The allowable stress of material S is not governed by time-dependent properties

o The room temperature ratio of the specified minimum yield strength to the specified

minimum tensile strength for the material does not exceed 0.7

o The value of SY can be obtained from Table Y-1 of ASME II-D

2. Testing - Test conditions refer to the hydrostatic tests that are performed on the pressure vessel during

its operating life. ASME Codes usually set the test pressures so that the maximum stresses developed

during the hydrotest does not exceed 90% of the material yield stress.

3. Level A - These correspond to those of normal operating conditions.

4. Level B - Level B service limits are upset conditions where the component must withstand without

sustaining damage requiring repair. Typically this includes the operating basis earthquake (OBE) and

thermal transients for which the power level changes are on the order of 10 to 20%.

5. Level C - These service limits constitute the emergency conditions in which large deformations in the

area of discontinuity are created.

6. Level D - Level D service limits are faulted conditions, for which gross deformation with a loss of

dimensional stability is permitted. The component may require repair or removal. Examples are safe

shutdown earthquake (SSE), pipe break or combination of such events.

Protection against Fracture

Pressure vessel materials are primarily steels. Steels are generally ductile, but their resistance to brittle fracture

diminishes as the temperature is lowered. The lower limit of the operating temperature is determined by the

transition point at which there is a change from ductile to brittle fracture. The value of stress at fracture under

those situations can be considerably lower than the yield strength. The fracture properties including the transition

temperature depend on the composition, heat treatment, prior cold work, and the size of flaws that may be

present. As the carbon content is increased from 0.1 to 0.8%, the NDT (nil ductility transition) temperature

o o

increases from -45 C to +50 C. Small amount of manganese or niobium can produce large decreases in NDT

temperatures. The four design criteria for mild steels can be summarized as follows:

1. NDT design criterion: The maximum principal stress should not exceed 34.5 MPa, to assure fracture

arrest at temperatures below NDT temperature.

o o

2. NDT + 17 C design criterion: The temperature of operation must be maintained above an NDT of +33 C,

to assure that the brittle fracture will not take place at stress levels up to one-half the yield strength.

o o

3. NDT + 33 C design criterion: The temperature of operation must be maintained above an NDT of +17 C,

to assure that the brittle fracture will not take place at stress levels up to the yield strength.

o o

4. NDT + 67 C design criterion: The temperature of operation must be maintained above an NDT of +67 C,

to assure that the brittle fracture will not take place at any stress level.

The margin of safety from brittle fracture is therefore dependent on the stress level as well as the expected

minimum temperature of operation.

Page 4 of 6

PV Newsletter Volume 2012, Issue 11: Pressure Vessel Design Criteria

Sources:

1. Pressure Vessels: Design and Practice by Somnath Chattopadhyay

Parts of this article are reprinted from ASME 2010 BPVC, Section VIII, Div. 1, by permission of the

American Society of Mechanical Engineers. All rights reserved.

*** E N D O F T H E A R T I C L E ***

CoDesign Engineering specializes in the core business of providing training and consultancy for design and

fabrication of ASME code pressure vessels, and the ecosystem that includes piping, welding, valves, geometric

dimensioning and tolerancing, process improvement, and engineering management. Some of the training

courses (lasting from two days to five days) that we provide include,

Design and Fabrication of ASME Section VIII, Div. 1 Pressure Vessels

Design and Fabrication of ASME Section VIII, Div. 2 Pressure Vessels

Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers - Thermal and Mechanical Design

ASME Section IX - Welding Technology

Engineering Management

We also provide several one-day workshops:

Know Your Power Piping

Know Your Process Piping

Know Your ASME Section VIII Pressure Vessel Code

Know Your Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers

A to Z of Pressure Vessels

Transitioning to ASME Section VIII, Div. 2

Please contact training@codesignengg.com for the training calendar and rates.

Visit our website www.codesignengg.com for contents of the courses.

Page 5 of 6

PV Newsletter Volume 2012, Issue 11: Pressure Vessel Design Criteria

Did you like this article?

I would request you to provide me your feedback on the article in this newsletter (and the previous

newsletters as well). I would also request you to send me email addresses for your acquaintances

that would benefit by receiving this newsletter. If you would like to contribute articles, please let me

know. Finally, if you would like the newsletter to be sent to a different email address, or not receive

it at all, kindly email me at ramesh.tiwari@codesignengg.com.

Ramesh Tiwari holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University in South Carolina, and

is a registered Professional Engineer from the state of Maryland in the United States. He has over 22 years of

experience designing pressure vessels, heat exchangers and tanks. Ramesh is a member of ASME Section VIII

Subgroup on Heat Transfer Equipment. He is also an approved pressure vessel instructor at National Thermal

Power Corporation (NTPC), a premier thermal power generating company in India.

Disclaimer:

I feel it is necessary to place a disclaimer statement to protect myself, the contributors and the newsletter. The information

provided in this newsletter is for educational purpose only. As a qualified engineer, I take this opportunity to remind all potential

users that it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that all designs are verified, and that such designs comply with the current editions

of the relevant codes. I accept no liability for any loss or damage which may result from improper use of information in this

newsletter.

Page 6 of 6

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