Reduced Finite Element Model for Nonlinear Analysis of Pressure Vessel Welds


Because of the extensive requirements for computer resources to perform nonlinear parametric stress distribution studies using finite element analysis (fea), the selection of a reduced size model was made. This research was the background effort required to perform nonlinear studies of pressure vessel shell-flange fillet welds. An axisymmetric one-quarter section of a typical pressure vessel with welded shell and head flanges was the full model. The vessel was 1828.8 mm (72 in.) in inside diameter and 12.7 mm (0.5 in.) thick. A two-dimensional quarter section model with symmetry boundary conditions at the shell midsection and properly selected coupling restraints and loading represents as nearly as practical a three-dimensional pressure vessel exclusive of nozzles and access openings. The coupling restraints are used to represent the bolts or locking ring device that hold the shell and head together at their flanges. The reduced model omits the head, head flange and weld and still makes it possible to account for the different types of heads. The reduced model includes only 711.2 mm (28 in.) of the shell, the fillet weld, and the shell flange. The relationship between the linear critical weld stress for the full models with various heads and the reduced model has been established.

Meeting Name

1992 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Flange Fillet Welds; Stress Concentration; Structural Mechanics

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1992 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1992

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