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Spherical Pressure Vessel

1

Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia

2

Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Malaysia

e-mail address: khairulfuad@petronas.com.my

Abstract: The analysis of stress concentration factor (SCF) of adjacent holes in a spherical pressure

vessel can be approached by considering a thin plate undergoing hydrostatic stresses. This work

adopts the approach to investigate the SCF of various adjacent holes configurations in a spherical

pressure vessel using finite element analysis. The von Mises stress is considered to determine the

SCF. Various arrangements of adjacent holes are investigated i.e., two, three, four, and five adjacent

holes are taken into account. The SCF curves with respect to the ratio of the distance between

adjacent holes to the diameter of hole, L/d, and for a certain ratio of the diameter of hole to the plate

thickness, d/t, are then plotted. The results show that the decreasing of L/d will affect the increasing of

SCF, while for the case of five adjacent holes configuration, the increasing of d/t doesn’t make a ny

significant effect to the increasing of SCF.

Keywords: adjacent holes, circular thin plate, finite element analysis, spherical pressure vessel, stress

concentration factor (SCF).

1 Introduction

The higher local stress around the nozzle-vessel connection due to internal pressure, temperature,

and other external loads has postulated the occurrence of the crack initiation and attracted much

attention of researchers and pressure vessel designers. Though the tremendous advances in

numerical simulation, all reported papers were in the case of a single nozzle-vessel connection.

Previous work on the use of von Mises equivalent stresses to compute the stress concentration

factors (SCF) based on finite element calculation have been reported [1-5]. The case of an opening in

a spherical shell under internal pressure without and with pressure acting at the bore was reported by

Schindler [1]. The results obtained by the usage of thin shell theory was reported elsewhere [2], three-

dimensional volume FEM elements was discussed [3], and axisymmetric ring-elements [4]. In the

latter parametric investigati on, nozzle to shell weld seams were included in the model.

The information on the SCF of various adjacent nozzles-vessel connections, either spherical or

cylindrical vessel, has not been reported yet. To overcome the complexities of investigating various

adjacent nozzles-vessel connections, it is important to introduce another method instead. This paper

reports the study on SCF of various adjacent holes configurations in a spherical pressure vessel. The

study uses a thi n plate subjected to a constant bending moment which creates hydrostatic stresses

within the plate element. The finite element method is used for solving the stress analysis to find the

values of SCF.

In the earlier report [6], the study has been done by using an infinite thin element subjected to

hydrostatic stresses in the periphery of the element. However, this method is effective for analyzing a

single hole but it will produce a greater deviation of stress distribution in the region between holes due

to the disturbances of stress induced flow.

In this study, the von Mises stress is also considered to determine the SCF of the adjacent holes.

Various arrangements of adjacent holes are investigated i.e., two, three, four, and five adjacent holes

are taken into account. The SCF results for each case are plotted with respect to the ratio of the

distance between adjacent holes to the diameter of hole, and the ratio of the diameter of hole to the

plate thickness are also taken into account. A formula for employing the results to calculate the

allowable stress, σall, in designing a spherical pressure vessel is also given.

Uniform circumferential

distributed Load

y

Circumferential thin plate

Circumferential balls supports

(a)

M

y

(b)

Figure 1. (a) A circular thin having a circumferentially and symmetrically overhanging support and

loaded with a constant circumferential distributed force at its periphery, and (b) Bending

moment diagram produced by the circular thin plate.

The analysis of stress distribution in a spherical pressure vessel can be approximated by considering

a thin plate undergoing hydrostatic stresses. This work adopts the approximation to investigate the

SCF of various adjacent holes configurations in a spherical pressure vessel using finite element

analysis. A circular thin plate is circumferentially and symmetrically overhanging supported, and in the

periphery of the plate is subjected to a uniform circumferential distributed load as shown in Figure

1(a). The segment of the plate which is constrained by the circumferential balls supports will undergo

a constant bending moment, as shown in Figure 1(b), and therefore, the hydrostatic stresses will be

produced within the segment.

Various adjacent holes configurations are then positioned in the inner segment of the thin circular

plate, and the stress distribution over the segment is analyzed using ANSYS finite element software.

The SCF, Kt, is defined as the ratio of the maximum von Mises stress that occurs around the holes to

the von Mises stress without hole, or it is expressed in the following formula:

Kt = (1)

von Mises stress without hole

L

L L L

d d L

3 holes 3 holes

2 holes

(Right angled triangular configuration) (Triangular configuration)

L

L

L L L

d

d

d

4 holes 5 holes 5 holes

(Square configuration) (Square configuration) (Pentagonal configuration)

Note that the von Mises stress that occurs over the surface of the segment without hole is constant at

any point and it is similar with the hydrostatic stress which is taken as a reference stress. A number of

3-dimensional finite element computations were performed on various adjacent holes by considering

the ratio of the diameter of the holes to the thickness of the plate and the ratio of the distance between

two holes centre to the diameter of the holes. The arrangement of various adjacent holes

configurations taken into account for the current analysis is depicted in Figure 2.

The SCF for two, three, four, and fiv e adjacent holes configurations have been analyzed numerically

using the finite element analysis. The results are then plotted to identify the stress concentration

factor, Kt, and the ratio of the distance between the holes centre to the diameter of the holes, L/d, fo r

various thickness of the circumferential plate. The guide line in employing the results to calculate the

allowable stress, σall, in designing a spherical pressure vessel is given by the following expression,

where p is the fluid pressure within the spherical pressure vessel, r is the mean radius of sphere, and t

is the wall thickness of the sphere.

All analyses are conducted with the variation of L/d ranging from 1.5 to 2.4 with the value of d/t equals

to 3, 3.4, and 4. The ratio L/d less than 1.5 tends to give rise of the SCF va lue higher exponentially,

and, therefore, it is beyond our consideration. While the ratio L/d greater than 2.4 tends to indicate

constant SCF value. The SCF values are plotted with respect to L/d for respective three v alues of the

aforementioned d/t. The interpolation method can be applied to find the value of SCF which is not

provided in this study. Numerical results indicate that for the same value of L/d, the greater the value

of d/t the greater the value of SCF, however, it does not show any significant increasing of SCF.

Table 1. The stress concentration factor for L/d = 1.5 and 2.4, and for d/t = 3, 3.4 and 4.

Number of

holes Holes Configuration L/d = 1.5 L/d = 2.4

d/t = 3 d/t = 3.4 d/t = 4 d/t = 3 d/t = 3.4 d/t = 4

1 2.0

2 2.52 2.58 2.66 2.08 2.12 2.15

3 Right angled triangle 2.48 2.525 2.57 2.10 2.14 2.18

3 Triangle 2.32 2.34 2.35 2.07 2.08 2.09

4 Square 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.07 2.08 2.09

5 Square 2.62 2.16

5 Pentagon 2.50 2.12

Our investigation has shown that the value of SCF for a single hole is 2.0. Figures 3 to 8 show the

results of various adjacent holes configurations taken for analysis in this study. The SCF for each case

for L/d = 1.5 to 2.4 are tabulated in Table 1. For three holes configurations, the SCF for right angled

triangular configuration is greater than the triangular one. For the five holes configuration, it is found

that the SCF for square configuration is slightly greater than the pentagonal one.

Again, the increasing of SCF with respect to the increasing of d/t does not exhibit any significant effect.

It can be observed that the more the number of holes, the more insignificant the effect of the

increasing of d/t to the value of SCF. In fact, for the case of f ive adjacent holes configurations, the

increasing of SCF due to the increasing of d/t is very small and, therefore, it can be neglected. The

results for two and three adjacent holes configurations show a good agreement with the results

reported by Nishida as referred in [6] using an infinite thin element subjected to hydrostatic stresses in

the periphery of the element.

4 Conclusion

The SCF of various adjacent holes configurations have been studied using the finite element analysis.

It is found that the decreasing of L/d will affect the increasing of SCF si gnificantly, while the more the

number of holes, the more insignificant the effect of the increasing of d/t to the value of SCF. In turn,

for the case of five adjacent holes configurations, the effect of increasing d/t to SCF can be neglected.

Eq.(2) gives a guideline in employing the SCF results to calculate the allowable stress, σall, in

designing a spherical pressure vessel.

References

[1] S. Schindler and J.L. Zeman, Stress concentration factors of nozzle-sphere connections, Int J Pressure

Vessels and Piping, Vol.80, Issue 2, 2003, pp. 87-95.

[2] C.J. Dekker and H.J. Bring, Nozzles on spheres with outward area under internal pressure analysed by FEM

and thin shell theory, Int J Pressure Vessels and Piping, Vol.77, 2000, pp. 399-415.

[3] I.J.S. Attwater, J. Anderson and G.E. Findlay, Three-dimensional finite element analysis of sphere/cylinder

intersections under axisymmetric loading, Int J Pressure Vessel and Piping, Vol.57, 1994, pp. 231- 235.

[4] E. Weiss and J . Rudolph, Finite element analyses concerning the fatigue strength of nozzle to spherical

shell intersections, Int J Pressure Vessel and Piping, Vol.64, 1995, pp. 101-109.

[5] Y.S. Lee and Y.S. Sohn, Modified solution of radial nozzle with thick reinforcement in spherical vessel head

subjected to radial load, Nuclear Engineering, Vol.178, 1997, pp.185-194.

[6] Walter D.Pilkey, Peterson’s stress concentration factors, 2 ndEd., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997, pp.285-306.

2.70

2.60 d/t = 4

L

2.50

3.4

2.40

3 d

Kt

2.30

2.20

2.10

2.00

1.50 1.70 1.90 2.10 2.30 2.40

L/d

Figure 3. Stress concentration factor for two adjacent holes.

2.60

d/t = 4

2.50

L L

2.40 3.4

3 d

Kt 2.30

2.20

2.10

2.00

1.50 1.60 1.70 1.80 1.90 2.00 2.10 2.20 2.30 2.40

L/d

Figure 4. Stress concentration factor for three adjacent holes with

right angled triangular configuration.

2.40

d/t = 4

2.35

L

2.30

3.4

2.25 d

Kt 3

2.20 L

2.15

2.10

2.05

1.50 1.60 1.70 1.80 1.90 2.00 2.10 2.20 2.30 2.40

L/d

Figure 5. Stress concentration factor for three adjacent holes with triangular configuration.

2.40

d/t = 4

L L

2.30 3.4

2.20

3 d

Kt

2.10

2.00

L/d

Figure 6. Stress concentration factor for four adjacent holes with square configuration.

2.70

d/t = 4 L

2.60 3.4

d L

2.50

3

2.40

Kt

2.30

2.20

2.10

2.00

1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4

L/d

Figure 7 Stres s concentration factor for five adjacent holes with square configuration.

L

2.60

d/t = 3, 3.4 and 4

2.50

2.40

Kt 2.30 d

2.20

2.10

2.00

1.90

1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4

L/d

Figure 8. Stress concentration factor for five adjacent holes with pentagonal configuration.

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