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Proceedings of PVP2008

2008 ASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Division Conference


July 27-31, 2008, Chicago, Illinois USA

PVP2008-61746
STRESS CLASSIFICATION LINES STRAIGHT THROUGH SINGULARITIES
Arturs Kalnins
Professor Emeritus of Mechanics
Lehigh University
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
E-mail: ak01@Lehigh.edu

ABSTRACT
The paper considers geometries of pressure vessels and
components for which the theoretical models contain sharp
corners, representing singularities. The idea is proposed that a
stress classification line passed straight through the singularity
can yield linearized stresses that are applicable in pressure
vessel design. Using elastic finite element analysis, details of
the procedures by which this result can be achieved are given
for two examples. One is a sharp corner at the toe of a fillet
weld. Membrane and bending stresses are calculated directly in
the toe plane, showing little or no dependence on mesh size.
The other is an axisymmetric shell with a flat head and a sharp
corner at the joint. The objective is to determine the primaryplus-secondary stress intensity on a Stress Classification Line
(SCL) through the joint. Two methods are used. One is by
determining the zone of valid SCLs and extrapolating the
linearized stresses to the joint. The other is by calculating the
linearized stresses directly on the SCL through the joint.
Conditions for the use of the SCL through the joint for the
shell/flat head model are established.
NOMENCLATURE
S11, S22, S12 = in-plane stresses in FEA model of 2-D solid
elements in X,Y,Z coordinate system, as shown in Figure 4
S33 = out-of-plane stress in FEA model, in Z direction, hoop
stress for axisymmetric 2-D elements
NFORC1, NFORC2 = nodal forces of 2-D solid elements
m , b = membrane and bending stress, respectively
P+Q = primary plus secondary Tresca stress
m, b = suffixes for membrane and bending stresses
F = force developed by stresses on SCP
M = moment developed by stresses on SCP
SCP = Stress Classification Plane
SCL = Stress Classification Line, an SCP of infinitesimal width

1 INTRODUCTION
For design-by-analysis of pressure vessels, the leap from
shell analysis to finite element analysis (FEA) about forty years
ago brought much benefit but left some details in a more
difficult position. One of such details is a sharp corner* at a
local structural discontinuity. It plays no role in shell analysis
but influences the stresses in FEA. If the corner radius is
unspecified at the design stage, it is common practice to model
the corner with a zero radius. In that case, these corners
represent a singularity.
The problem with singularities is that FEA-calculated
elastic stresses at the singularity increase without bound as the
mesh is refined. These stress values have no physical meaning
for any mesh size. The question is whether the linearized
stresses acting on planes straight through the singularity are
still meaningful for design. This is addressed in the paper.

2 PREVIOUS WORK
Previous work on the classification of FEA-calculated
stresses goes back to more than three decades. The early papers
are by Kroenke1, Kroenke, Addicott, and Hinton2, Hinton and
Hechmer3, and Gordon4. Hechmer and Hollinger5 extended the
concept to three-dimensional geometries. Hollinger and
Hechmer6 gave a summary of this work. More recent papers are
by Ming-Wan Lu, Yong Chen, Jian-Guo Li7, and by Strzelczyk
and Ho8. The focus of these papers is on the membrane and
membrane-plus-bending stress intensities that are appropriate
for assessing the stress intensity limits involving primary and
secondary stresses.

*
For the purposes of this paper, a sharp corner is one for which the
angle through the material between two intersecting boundary planes is greater
than . In a continuum analysis, the stresses at such corners are infinite. For
angles less than , the stresses at the corners are zero.

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Abaqus). FEA models for two mesh sizes were built, consisting
of 1 and 4 elements through thickness, shown in Figure 2. The
deformed shape that results from this loading and boundary
conditions is shown in Figure 3 for the 4-element model.

The question posed in section 1 of this paper is also


relevant to fatigue assessment of welded joints that is based on
the assumption that the controlling stress for fatigue is a
function of the elastic membrane plus bending stress normal to
a hypothetical crack plane. This concept has been developed by
Dong9 and his colleagues at the Battelle Memorial Institute. It
is now included in 2007 Section VIII-Division 2 of the ASME
B&PV Code10.

336
120
12

3 SCOPE AND OBJECTIVE


The paper is concerned with linearized stresses that are
derived from the resultant action (forces and moments) on a
selected plane of a structural element, commonly called stress
classification plane (SCP), or, for 2-D and axisymmetric
models, the stress classification line (SCL).
The objective of the paper is to show that an SCL passed
straight through the singularity can yield results that are not
influenced by the numerical disturbance of the singularity.
Two examples are selected to show how to edit elastic
FEA-calculated stresses obtained from standard FEA output
(no macros) to obtain the stresses needed in design. The edits
are based on the work of Gordon4.
In the first example, Gordons Force and Moment Edit is
used to determine the membrane and bending stresses of a
stress component that is applied to a specified SCP. Two
methods are given by Gordon for this edit, the stress method
and the force method. Both methods are used.
In the second example, Gordons Stress Intensity Edit is
used to determine the primary-plus-secondary (P+Q) Tresca
stress intensity.
Examples of performing these two edits are given next.

P
SCL
Figure 1: Geometry of the example

Figure 2: Finite element meshes for the example

4 FORCE AND MOMENT EDIT


4.1

MODEL
This is meant to be a simple example to illustrate a case in
which an SCL passes straight through a singularity. Gordons4
edits are performed to calculate the membrane and bending
stresses for the model shown in Figure 1. The dimensions are in
mm. Both the nodal stress and nodal force methods are used.
For the stress method, the nodal stresses are integrated over the
SCL to obtain the forces and moments, while, for the nodal
force method, the internal or reaction forces are summed over
the nodes of the SCL The results are also checked with
Abaqus/Standard11 version 6.7-1 CAE postprocessors stress
linearization option.
The middle node of the left end of the model is restrained
from vertical and horizontal displacement. The middle node at
the right end is restrained from vertical displacement and
subjected to a force of P=1200 Newtons (270 lb). Solutions are
obtained by the Abaqus11 finite element program using 8noded, quadratic, 2-D solid, plane strain elements (CPE8 in

Figure 3: Deformed shape


According to Dongs approach9, only the membrane and
bending stresses produced by the force and moment that are
applied to the structural element to the right of the SCL are
considered. The reason for choosing this example is that the
exact values are known. They can be calculated from static
equilibrium and are given by equations (1) and (2).

F = 1200 N
1200 12
M=
120 = 5,143N mm
336

(1)
(2)

The term SCL refers to a line that is used to represent an SCP in a 2-D
model. This justifies the term singularity, which refers to a point on the SCL.
It is understood that stresses are applied to a plane (SCP), not to a line (SCL).

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The corresponding membrane and bending stresses, assuming a


unit out-of-plane length of the plane strain structural element,
are then given by equations (3) and (4).

1200
= 100 Mpa
12
6
b = 2 5,143 = 214.3Mpa
12

m =

(3)

SCL

(4)

The objective for this example is to compare the values in


equations (1) to (4) with those calculated by FEA. This
objective is achieved based on the FEA results discussed next.

4.2

RESULTS FROM FEA


Abaqus11 finite element program is used to calculate the
stresses (variable name S) and nodal forces (variable name
NFORC) for the element set (ELSET=STACK) on the righthand side of the SCL shown in Figure 4. An important point is
that the nodal stresses not be averaged with those on the lefthand side of the SCL.
The STACK is defined for elements 29, 97, 165, and 233,
as shown in Figure 4. The print command includes the
parameter POSITION=NODES, which does not average the
stresses at the nodes. The resulting output is shown in Table 1.
The node numbers are identified in Figure 5. The results are
shown for the 4-element model. Similar results were obtained
for a 1-element model.

STACK
Figure 4: Zoom of singularity region

SCL

Table 1: Nodal stresses and forces from Abaqus output


Element
29
29
29
97
97
97
165
165
165
233
233
233

Node
57
257
457
457
657
857
857
1057
1257
1257
1457
1657

S11
-89.34
-40.93
-0.26
-0.18
42.09
83.75
83.49
112.00
155.60
163.60
272.10
477.70

NFORC1
-43.17
-80.79
-6.97
9.54
83.39
34.62
44.18
244.30
77.79
90.60
465.00
281.50

yc
y

The stress S11 and force NFORC1, both per unit out-ofplane length, are normal to the SCL. In the table, the nodes 457,
857, and 1257 have two values, one received from each
adjoining element. The fact that they are not the same indicates
that they have not been averaged. Even though the stresses
could have been averaged between the elements of the STACK,
the integration scheme for not-averaged stresses, given in
subsection 4.4, is convenient for biased nodal distances.

Figure 5: ELSET STACK revealing nodes on SCL

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y2

4.3

OBJECTIVE
Two singularity effects are investigated in this subsection.
The first is the behavior of stresses at a singularity. This is
shown in Figure 6 for the stress component normal to the SCL.
For the 4-element model, the stresses for Figure 6 are taken
from Table 1. It is seen that S11 at node 1657 increases from
333 MPa for 1 element mesh to 478 MPs for a 4 element mesh.
This illustrates the main problem addressed in this paper that
stresses at singularity diverge with refined mesh.

Mk =

y1

(6)

hk
[( y yc )1 S111 + ( y yc ) 2 4 S112 + ( y yc )3 S113 )
6
where y is the coordinate with origin at bottom of SCL (see
Figure 5), k denotes the k-th element, y1 and y2 are the y
coordinates at bottom and top of k-th element, hk is its height,
subscripts 1, 2, and 3 refer to the three nodes on the SCL of the
k-th element, and yc is the y value to the centroid of the SCP
represented by the SCL (node 857 in Figure 5). For the 4element model, the membrane and bending stresses acting on
the SCL are then obtained from equations (7) and (8).

500
400

Stress, MPa

( y y )S11dy

1 k =4
Fk
t k =1
6 k =4
b = 2 Mk
t k =1

300

m =

200
100
0

(7)
(8)

-100

4.5

NODAL FORCE METHOD


For plane stress and strain 2-D solid elements, standard
Abaqus output gives two internal nodal forces in X and Y
directions. For the 4-element model, the forces in X direction
that are applied to the nine nodes of the elements of the
STACK are listed in the last column of Table 1. Just as for the
nodal stresses, there are 12 forces that represent 3 nodal forces
of 4 elements. The membrane and bending stresses acting on
the SCL are calculated from equations (9) and (10)

-200
0

10

12

Distance across thickness, mm


1-element

4-elements

Figure 6: Distribution of stress normal to SCL


Upon broader view, it follows that nodal stresses and
strains obtained by FEA at a singularity have no physical
meaning in any part of pressure vessel design.
The second effect investigated in this subsection is the
dependence of the membrane and bending stresses on mesh
refinement. For the purpose of this paper, the key test is
whether or not these stresses also diverge with refined mesh.
To check on that test, the force and moment that are acting on
the SCL, and the corresponding stresses, are calculated from an
Excel spreadsheet. The basis for the calculation comes from
Gordons4 Effective Force and Moment Edit.

S11dy

y1

hk
( S111 + 4 S112 + S113 )
6

b =

6
t2

m =12

(y
m =1

(9)

yc ) NFORC1m

(10)

NFORCm and

ym are the nodal force and the y coordinate of the m-th node,
respectively, on the SCL.

NODAL STRESS METHOD


The integration for the force and moment acting on the
SCL portion of the k-th element was performed by Simpsons
quadratic rule for each element separately using equations (5)
and (6).
y2

1 m =12
NFORC1m
t m =1

where t is the thickness (length of SCL), and

4.4

Fk =

m =

4.6

ABAQUS CAE LINEARIZATION


Abaqus/Standard11 version 6.7-1 CAE postprocessors
stress linearization option is used to check the Excel results.
However, the following procedure was found to be necessary to
obtain consistent results. First, when using the CAE, the
ELSET=STACK was selected so that it alone appeared on the
screen, like that shown in Figure 5. Then a PATH was created
over the nodes on the SCL. Finally, the stress averaging box
was switched off on the menu Results/Options. Wrong results
can be obtained if this procedure is not followed.

(5)

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4.7

RESULTS
The results are shown in the tables below.

5 STRESS INTENSITY EDIT


The heading refers to the term used in Gordons paper4.
The objective is to investigate the use of an SCL straight
through the singularity for the calculation of the primary-plussecondary Tresca stress intensity, referred to as P+Q stress. The
general and local primary stress limits are left out of this edit
because they can be easily dealt with by limit analysis (see, for
example the WRC Bulletin #464 by Kalnins12). The edit is
applied to the model discussed next, and conclusions are drawn
for this model. Extensions to other models may be possible but
are left out of the scope of this paper.

Table 2: Membrane stress on SCL


Method

Elements

Error %

Nodal Stress
Method

103.2

3.2

100.6

0.6

Nodal Force
Method

100.0

0.0

100.0

0.0

Abaqus CAE
Postprocessor

103.2

3.2

100.7

0.7

Exact

n/a

100.0

0.0

5.1

MODEL
The edit is performed for the axisymmetric vessel shown in
Figure 7. To assess divergence with refined mesh, FEA models
with 1, 2, 4, and 8 elements across the shell wall were built.
The 4-element model is shown in Figure 7. The axis of
symmetry is marked by the dot-dashed line and the SCL of
interest by the red line at the joint of the shell and the head.
For the cylindrical shell, the inside and outside radii are 10
and 11.5 inches (254 and 292 mm), respectively, and the length
is 15 inches (381 mm). The flat head is 3 inches (76.2 mm)
thick. Uniform internal pressure is applied. The lower end of
the shell is subjected to a symmetry boundary condition in Y
direction. The nodes of the shell and head are defined
separately and tied together at the joint. The modulus of
elasticity is 30,000 ksi (207 GPa), Poissons ratio is 0.3, and the
design stress intensity S m is 17.5 ksi (120.7 MPa).

Table 3: Bending stress on SCL


Method

Elements

Error %

Nodal Stress
Method

214.2

0.0

217.0

1.3

214.3

0.0

214.3

0.0

Abaqus CAE
Postprocessor

214.4

0.1

217.5

1.5

Exact

n/a

214.3

0.0

Nodal Force
Method

4.8

DISCUSSION OF EXAMPLE
The results of Table 2 and Table 3 illustrate the key point
made in this paper that while stresses at singularity diverge
with refined mesh, the membrane and bending stresses do not.
Comparison of the results of the nodal stress and nodal
force method support Gordons4 finding that the nodal
force method is the more accurate of the two, matching, in
fact, the exact results for both the 1 and 4 element models in
this case. These results support the claim that an SCL passed
straight through the singularity of a finite element model can
yield linearized stresses that do not diverge with refined mesh,
at least for the 2-D solid elements used in the example.
The close agreement of the nodal stress method and the
Abaqus11 CAE postprocessors stress linearization option is
expected because the stress integration rules are essentially the
same as those given by equations (5) to (8). However, the
procedure stated in subsection 4.6 had to be followed to
achieve that result.
For the primary and secondary stress categories, the
calculation of stress intensities is required. This is what
Gordons4 Stress Intensity Edit is meant for. It will be discussed
next.
Figure 7: Model for Shell/Flat Head Example

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5.2

These results will now be used to investigate which of the


stress components may prevent the calculating the P+Q stress
by passing the SCL straight through the joint. This will be
performed by extrapolating the stresses to the joint.

P+Q INGREDIENTS

In common practice, the following stresses are included in


the P+Q stress for the axisymmetric model shown of Figure 7:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Meridional membrane plus bending stress, S22(m+b)


Hoop membrane plus bending stress, S33(m+b)
Average in-plane shear stress, S12(m)
Average through-thickness normal stress, S11(m)

S11, S22, S12 are the in-plane stresses in the X,Y directions
shown in Figure 7, and S33 is the out-of-plane hoop stress in Z
direction. The suffixes m and b denote membrane and
bending stresses, except in S11(m) and S12(m), where the m
has nothing to do with physical membrane action.

Critical SCL

5.3

VALID STRESS CLASSIFICATION LINES


When discussing criteria for the placement of SCLs,
Hechmer and Hollinger5 recommended certain conditions that
are necessary for a valid SCL. Similar recommendations are
stated in the Informative Annex 5.A of 2007 Section VIIIDivision 2 of the ASME B&PV Code10. The important
conditions for the purposes of this paper are:

Valid SCLs

1. The through-thickness normal stress (S11) distribution


over the SCL should be linear, with the surface stresses
close to the applied pressure
2. The in-plane shear stress (S12) distribution over the SCL
should be parabolic, with the surface stresses close to zero

Figure 8: Valid SCLs for the shell

Through-thickn. Stress S11, ksi

To assess these conditions, the stresses were calculated by


Abaqus11 for the 8-element model by passing SCLs at 15
consecutive element boundaries of the shell, at and below that
of the critical SCL in Figure 8, including those in both the valid
and invalid zones. Figure 9 and Figure 10 show the S11 and
S12 stresses up to the distance of 1.3125 inches from the joint.
Table 4 lists their values on the ID of the shell. Table 4, Figure
9, and Figure 10 show that the above conditions are satisfied
within a zone beginning somewhere between 0.75 and 1.125
inches and extending further away from the joint. Figure 8
shows the zone of the valid SCLs along the shell.

Table 4: S11 and S12 stresses on shell ID, ksi


Distance from
joint, inches
0.000
0.1875
0.375
0.5625
0.75
0.9375
1.125
1.3125

S11

S12

25.97
-1.20
-0.26
-0.87
-0.99
-1.04
-1.01
-1.01

-19.13
1.72
-0.08
-0.66
-0.01
-0.01
-0.02
-0.02

30
25
20
15
10
5
0
-5
0.00

0.25

0.50

0.75

1.00

1.25

1.50

X-coordinate Across Wall, inches


From Joint 0

Figure 9: Through-thickness normal stress across wall on


SCLs at 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) intervals away from joint

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5.4

EXTRAPOLATION TO JOINT
The P+Q stress at the joint can be obtained by
extrapolating the stresses from the valid zone to the joint. This
procedure was used in Appendix IV of Hechmer and
Hollingers5 WRC Bulletin No. 429 for a similar geometry.
To see how this would work for the current example, the
linearized stresses on the ID of the shell, which were
determined in subsection 5.3, are plotted in Figure 11 and
Figure 12. In these figures, a valid-SCL limit is assumed at
Y=0.75 from the joint. If the limit were assumed at Y=1.125
inches from the joint, two more points would move from the
valid to the invalid zone.
Figure 11 indicates no problem of extrapolating S22(m+b)
and S12(m) from the valid into the invalid zone and arriving at
the same value at the joint (at Y=0) as that obtained from
placing an SCL straight through the joint. Thus, for the current
example, the validity requirement that the in-plane shear stress
distribution over the SCL appear parabolic and its surface
stresses be close to zero is unnecessary. While the S12 and S22
stresses at the singularity diverge with refined mesh and are
unusable, this is not true for the linearized stresses over the
SCL through the joint.
This behavior of S22(m+b) and S12(m) is attributed to the
fact that these stress components arise from the meridional
force and moment and shear force that are necessary to satisfy
the continuity and equilibrium of the structure at the joint. This
is in line with the results obtained in the Force and Moment
Edit of section 4, confirming the expectation that finite element
stresses satisfy equilibrium of structural elements.
On the other hand, Figure 12 indicates a more uncertain
extrapolation of S33(m+b) and S11(m) to the joint.

Shear Stress S12, ksi

5
0
-5
-10
-15
-20

0.00

0.25

0.50

0.75

1.00

1.25

1.50

X-coordinate Across Wall, inches


From joint 0

Figure 10: In-plane shear stress across the wall on SCLs


at 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) intervals away from joint

20
S22(m+b)-valid
15

S22(m+b)-invalid

Stress, ksi

S12(m)-valid
S12(m)-invalid
10

8
7

6
5
Stress, ksi

-5
0.000 0.375 0.750 1.125 1.500 1.875 2.250 2.625 3.000

S33(m+b)-valid
S33(m+b)-invalid
S11(m)-valid
S11(m)-invalid

4
3
2
1

Y-coordinate from Joint, inches

0
-1
0.000 0.375 0.750 1.125 1.500 1.875 2.250 2.625 3.000

Figure 11: Meridional membrane-plus-bending stress on


shell ID and average in-plane shear stress

Y-coordinate from Joint, inches

Figure 12: Hoop membrane-plus-bending stress on shell


ID and average through-thickness normal stress

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This is attributed to the fact that these stresses do not


participate in establishing continuity and equilibrium of the
structure at the joint. By any reasonable extrapolation
technique, it is unlikely that it will arrive at the same value at
the joint (Y=0) as that obtained from placing an SCL straight
through the joint.
Regarding the S33(m+b) hoop stress, examination of the
stress values in Figure 11 and Figure 12 reveals that it plays no
role in the P+Q stress for the current example. The average inplane shear stress (Figure 11) is small (about 2 ksi), and the
highest principal stress remains close to S22(m+b). Since
S33(m+b) is greater than S11(m), as shown in Figure 12, the
lowest principal stress remains close to S11(m).
Thus, whatever S33(m+b) is extrapolated to the joint
(about 3 to 4 ksi in Figure 12), or calculated directly on the
SCL through the joint (7.6 ksi), it will not affect the maximum
Tresca P+Q stress.
However, this is not the case for the average throughthickness normal stress, S11(m), at the joint. If included in
P+Q, it does affect the maximum Tresca P+Q stress for the
vessel. The consequence of that is considered next.

5.5

curve is -0.43. The S11(m) over the joint SCL is expected to be


higher. But how much higher?

0.2

S11 Stress, ksi

0
-0.2
-0.4
-0.6
-0.8
0.75 in. from Joint

-1

1.125 in. from Joint

-1.2
0.00

0.25

0.50

0.75

1.00

1.25

1.50

X-coordinate Across Wall, inches

THROUGH-THICKNESS NORMAL STRESS

5.5.1 S11(m) from S11 of FEA Solution


The fact that the average through-thickness normal stress,
S11(m), on the SCL through the joint is 4.4 ksi (Figure 12),
while a rough extrapolated value appears less than 1.0 ksi,
indicates that the former is affected by the purely numerical
disturbance of the singularity. It is easy to see why.
The reason is that it is obtained from the average of the
FEA-calculated S11 stress on the SCL at the joint, which is the
curve marked with red squares in Figure 9. While the curve
should go down to a known value of -1.0 ksi to match the
applied pressure, it goes up to the value of 26 ksi for the 8element model and will diverge with a more refined mesh.
Since all the red squares indicate positive numbers, it is
obvious that the average stress, S11(m), will also diverge with
refined mesh. Therefore, the FEA-calculated value of 4.4 ksi is
wrong.
The conclusion at this point is that if the FEA-calculated
S11(m) stress on the SCL through the joint were used in the
calculation of the maximum Tresca P+Q stress, it would also be
affected by the singularity. This, of course, is the reason why
the SCL through the joint has been marked as invalid. So,
what is the right value of S11(m), extrapolated or determined
otherwise? This will be discussed next.

Figure 13: Through-thickness normal stress distributions on


SCLs at 0.75 (19) and 1.125 inches (33 mm) away from joint
There does not appear to be a direct way to answer that
question. The answer could be estimated by the extrapolation
from the valid-SCL zone, with some uncertainty. According to
Figure 12, the S11(m) value at the joint is estimated at about
0.7 ksi if the SCL validity limit is assumed at 0.75 inches and at
about 0.0 ksi if the SCL validity limit is assumed at 1.125
inches from the joint. The P+Q stresses for these estimates are
listed in Table 5.

Table 5: Tresca P+Q stress as a function of S11(m), ksi


Method
Extrapolation
Extrapolation
FEA-calculated

S11(m)
0.7
0.0
4.4

Tresca P+Q Error %


17.5
0.0
18.1
3.4
14.0
-20.0

The error of the P+Q stresses in the table is calculated with


respect to the extrapolated S11(m) value of 0.7. The positive
error indicates a conservative value and the negative error an
unconservative value with respect to that obtained for
S11(m)=0.7 ksi. The FEA-calculated value, which has already
been established as wrong in subsection 5.5.1, is included for
comparison. When assessing the errors, the potential
uncertainties of the extrapolation should also be considered.
The selection of the estimated value of 0.7 ksi was made to
show that the estimated 0.0 value leads to a higher, thus more
conservative, P+Q stress.

5.5.2 Right value of S11(m)


The question now is: How can S11(m) be calculated to
escape the numerical disturbance of the singularity that is
apparent from the FEA-calculated S11 distribution in Figure 9?
It is observed that instead of that in Figure 9, the S11 stress
distribution over the joint SCL ought to be like that shown in
Figure 13, in which the two curves shown represent the S11
stress over the SCLs at the two estimated SCL validity limits.
The S11(m) of the 0.75 inch curve is -0.20 and that of the 1.125

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5.5.3

Abaqus stress linearization

6 CONCLUSIONS

Abaqus/Standard11 version 6.7-1 CAE postprocessors


linearization routine includes not only the FEA-calculated
average through-thickness normal stress but also its bending
component. The definition of the bending component includes
the through-thickness normal stress values at the endpoints of
the SCL.
If the selected SCL passes through a singularity, the
bending component will diverge with a refined mesh. The
resulting values of what are output as Tresca Stress and
Mises Stress (i.e., P+Q stresses) on the CAE report file will
also diverge with refined mesh. This linearization routine
should not be used for the calculation of the P+Q stresses over
an SCL that contains a singularity at one of its end points.
These stresses are only valid remote from SCLs passing
through singularities.

1. Passing an SCL straight through a singularity may offer a


simpler alternative to other methods for the determination of
linearized and Tresca P+Q stress intensity at discontinuities
modeled by sharp corners.
2. When an SCL is passed through the weld toe that is
modeled by a sharp corner, the stresses at the singularity
diverge with refined mesh but the membrane and bending
stresses on the toe plane do not and show little dependence on
mesh size.
3. For the weld toe example, Gordons4 nodal force method
and the nodal stress method both give results that agree
closely with available exact results, with the nodal force
method being the more accurate of the two, confirming
Gordons finding.

5.6

DISCUSSION
The two methods considered for calculating P+Q stresses
at a joint with a discontinuity were the extrapolation and the
direct calculation over an SCL through the joint. The former
involved calculation of stresses over many SCLs, a search for
the valid SCL zone, and then extrapolation of the stresses to the
joint. The latter involved the stress calculation over a single
SCL. By any measure, the latter appears preferable. The only
obstacle in its application was the uncertainty in the calculation
of the average through-thickness normal stress.
The question can be raised whether this obstacle is real. It
is not immediately obvious what role, if any, the throughthickness normal stress plays in the P+Q stress. It is not
primary because it does not equilibrate applied loading on
structural elements, and it is not secondary because it does not
participate in satisfying continuity of the shell/flat head
structure. It is neither P nor Q.
Even if this argument is not accepted and convincing
support for its inclusion can be formulated, the results of
subsection 5.5.2 showed minimal effect on the P+Q stress.
Most important, the FEA-calculated S11(m) gave a P+Q stress
20% less than that obtained from the extrapolated values,
rendering it unusable. It also showed that its extrapolated
magnitude, depending on the extrapolation technique, could
vary from zero to 3.4 % of the meridional membrane plus
bending stress, which is the main actor in ensuring continuity
and equilibrium of the joint.
Two other options could be considered for the throughthickness normal stress contribution to the P+Q stress at the
joint, which use its value in the valid SCL zone. Gordons
paper4 sets it equal to the applied pressure on the shell I.D.,
which for this case would be -1.0 ksi. The other is to use the
FEA-calculated -0.5 ksi for its average that is shown in Figure
12. Referring to Table 5, this would increase P+Q to 19.1 ksi
and 18.6 ksi, respectively.
As shown in subsection 5.5.2, the average stress is bound
to be greater than these values, which does not justify the
increased P+Q stress. Setting it to zero seems like a valid
compromise for using an SCL straight through the singularity.

4. For the axisymmetric shell/flat head example, an FEAcalculated average through-thickness normal stress over an
SCL containing a singularity is affected by a numerical
disturbance of the singularity. If used in the Tresca P+Q
stress intensity, it is shown to be unconservative.
5. The results suggest that neither the average throughthickness normal stress nor its bending component (i.e., the
linear part) should be included in the P+Q stress at a joint
with a discontinuity. If accepted, this could result in a simple,
conservative, and justifiable compromise for using an SCL
straight through the singularity.
6. The values of Tresca and Mises P+Q stresses, output by
the Abaqus/Standard11 version 6.7-1 CAE postprocessor
linearization routine should not be used on an SCL passing
through a singularity.
REFERENCES
1

Kroenke, W. C., 1974, Classification of Finite Element


Stresses According to ASME Section III Stress Categories,
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Kroenke, W. C., Addicott, G. W., and Hinton, B. M., 1975,
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Hinton, B. M., and Hechmer, J. L., 1976, "Secondary Stress
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4
Gordon, J. L., 1976, Outcur: An Automated Evaluation of
Two-Dimensional Finite Element Stresses According to ASME
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10

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