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Proceedings of PVP2003

2003 ASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference


July 20-24, 2003 Cleveland Ohio, USA

PVP2003-1931

COMPARISON OF DIFFERENT
METHODOLOGIES FOR STRESS
ANALYSIS OF REINFORCING PADS
Michael W. Guillot
Stress Engineering Services
Metairie, LA 70001

ABSTRACT
Finite element analysis is widely used to model the
stresses resulting from penetrations in pressure vessels to
accommodate components such as nozzles and man-ways. In
many cases a reinforcing pad is required around the nozzle or
other component to meet the design requirements of Section
VIII, Division 1 or 2, of the ASME Pressure Vessel Code [ 1].
Several different fmite element techniques are currently used
for calculating the effects of reinforcing pads on the shell
stresses resulting from penetrations for nozzles or man-ways.
In this research the stresses near a typical reinforced nozzle on
a pressure vessel shell are studied. Finite element analysis is
used to model the stresses in the reinforcing pad and shell.
The commercially available software package ANSYS is used
for the modeling.
Loadings on the nozzle are due to
combinations of internal pressure and moments to simulate
piping attachments. The f'mite element results are compared
to an analysis per Welding Research Council Bulletin 107 [2].

INTRODUCTION
Stress analysis of pressure vessels has improved with the
widespread availability of the personal computers and
advanced engineering software such as finite element analysis
packages [3]. A number of different software packages have
been developed for pressure vessel design and analysis such as
COMPRESS. These programs combine Code calculations
with the WRC 107 analysis for external loads. In some cases
these "canned" programs will indicate that a design has failed
or is marginal. In these cases a more detailed stress analysis is
needed to determine if the design is actually acceptable. The
f'mite element method is very useful for more detailed stress
analyses. However, use of the finite element method for

Jack E. Helms
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

pressure vessel stress analysis requires some interpretation of


applicable codes such as the American Society Mechanical
Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section
VIII, Division 1 or 2. Experienced finite element analysts use
different approaches for modeling the vessel and components
such as nozzles and reinforcing pads.
Moini and Mitchell [4] used finite element analysis to
study the stress concentration in a nozzle to shell intersection
in a thick walled pressure vessel. The specified boundary
displacement method was applied to measure the stress
concentration due to geometrical discontinuity. The analysis
developed in their research was compared to the work of
previous investigators and it was found to offer significant
improvement. Jawad and Farr [5] presented an analysis for
stresses on attachments to a pressure vessel due to external
loads such as piping. Their analysis was based on the
procedures in Welding Research Council Bulletin No. 107.
Porter, et al. [6] presented guidelines for using PC-based
Finite element software for pressure vessel analysis.
Guidelines were outlined for element selection, meshing,
application of loads and boundary conditions.
Welding Research Council Bulletin No. 429 [7] provides
guidelines for 3D stress analysis of pressure vessels using the
Finite Element Method.
Many thin wall vessels exist which can be accurately
modeled with shell elements. This provides a convenient way
to analyze the area around nozzles on vessels with external
loads, typically from piping, which do not fit the criteria of
WRC 107 [2]. Because of simplicity, shell elements are
preferred over brick elements and can be used to quickly and
efficiently model the vessel-nozzle junction.
Several
methodologies using shell elements have been used to model
this critical area. This paper compares four of the most

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Copyright 2003 by ASME

popular methods and their results along with the values


computed using WRC 107. All analyses were linear elastic.

head. Similarly, a tensile stress was also applied to the end


surface of the nozzle to model the effects of the internal
pressure acting on the flange blind. Internal pressure of 100
psig was applied on the inside surface of all shell elements
except those elements added to model the reinforcing pad.

MODELING
Porter, et al. [8] addressed the use of different computer
codes and element types. In this work only one computer
code, ANSYS 6.1, and one element type, Shell93, an eight
node shell element are used. Four Finite Element modeling
approaches are used. In the first approach, Method 1, the shell
in the reinforcing pad area is modeled with the thickness equal
to the sum of the shell and the reinforcing pad thicknesses.
The second approach, Method 2, used a separate layer of shell
elements for the reinforcing pad, but the shell and reinforcing
pad elements shared common nodes. The third approach,
Method 3, consisted of a separate layer of shell elements for
the reinforcing pad. The nodes on the inner and outer
diameter of the reinforcing pad were coupled with
corresponding shell and nozzle nodes to simulate attachment
welds. The last approach, Method 4, used a separate layer of
shell elements that were offset per the actual thicknesses. The
nodes on the inner and outer diameters of the reinforcing pad
were coupled to corresponding shell and nozzle nodes to
simulate attachment welds. Method 5 results were derived per
WRC 107.
A base case was developed using the COMPRESS
pressure vessel design and analysis software with two subcases for longitudinal and circumferential piping loads. The
two sub-cases were then modeled with finite element analysis
using ANSYS 6.1. A vertical pressure vessel was chosen for
the analyses and the pertinent design details are outlined in
Table 1 and the finite element mesh is shown in Fig. 1.

Table 1
Vessel Material
Nozzle Material
Modulus of Elasticity
Poisson's Ratio
Vessel Outside Diameter
Seam-to-Seam Height
Wall Thickness
Reinforcing Pad Thickness
Reinforcing Pad Width
Nozzle Outside Diameter
Nozzle Thickness
Internal Pressure
Longitudinal Piping Load
Circumferential Piping Load

SA-516-70
SA- 106B
30,000,000 psi
0.3
144 in
120 in
0.375 in
0.375 in
10in
24 in
0.687 in
100 psig
1,700,000 in-lb
600,000 in-lb

A static linear elastic Finite Element analysis was


performed for each of the four modeling approaches.

DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
The base case was chosen by trial and error to produce a
design that would appear marginal or that actually failed the
design stress specifications per WRC 107 in COMPRESS.
The vessel diameter, seam-to-seam height, thickness, design
pressure, and reinforcing pad were all chosen to be typical of
vessels in a chemical process plant.
The COMPRESS
pressure vessel design and analysis software was used to apply
increasing piping loads until a case was developed that
appeared to fail the design specifications per WRC 107 for
longitudinal and circumferential piping loads, each acting
separately. These two cases were then modeled using shell
elements.
In all of the plots the stress intensity is plotted instead of
individual stress components.
The Code defines stress
intensity as two times the maximum shear stress. The stress
plots begin at the nozzle surface and extend outward along a
radial line past the outer edge of the reinforcing pad.
Figures 2 through 7 are plots of the stress intensities due
to the longitudinal moment listed in Table 1. The four FEA
methods discussed above are labeled as 1 through 4,
respectively, and the WRC 107 data is labeled as 5 in the plots
below, Figs. 2-13. Both FEA and WRC 107 data labels have a
letter appended. The "U" indicates the upper, or outer,
surface of the elements representing the reinforcing pad, and,
"L", indicates the lower, or inner, surface of the elements
representing the shell. Figures 2 and 3 are at the top of the
nozzle on the vertical shell shown in Fig. 1. The FEA stress

Figure 1 Shell and Nozzle


A total of 1988 eight-node shell elements (Shell93) were used
to model the shell and nozzle. In all cases the nodal layout
was identical and the models should serve as good
comparisons for the methods. The bottom of the tank was
constrained in all but the radial direction. The top of the tank
was restrained from rotation and a tensile stress was applied to
model the effects of the internal pressure acting on the vessel

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intensities at the nozzle/shell interface are very high due to a


modeling singularity at the nozzle/reinforcing pad interface.
WRC 429 states that there are modeling singularities at the
cylinder-cylinder juncture, which generate fictitiously high
stresses [7]. Actual stress intensities are probably closer to the
WRC 107 stress intensities, The WRC 107 results are more
conservative at the pad edge.
Figure 2 plots the upper surface stress intensities at the
top of the nozzle. The WRC 107 data is more conservative at
the edge of the reinforcing pad.

70
60
50
40
30
.F.
20
== 10
0
1
Q,.

-...e- 1u
--t~-- 2u
....: ~3u
-~o-, 4u

x
0

10

20

5u

30

Distance from Nozzle, in


~

150
--e-- 1u
- m - - 2u
,~. 3U
~-~-~,4U
5U

._~ 100
C

50

0
10

20

F i g u r e 4 B o t t o m o f N o z z l e - U p p e r Surface
Figure 5 is a plot of the stress intensities at the lower surface
of the bottom of the nozzle. WRC 107 underestimates the
stress intensities at the reinforcing pad edge.
70

30

"~ 60

Distance from Nozzle, in

--e.-- 1L
-..J-. 2L
..... 3L
-~.~,-,,.4L
X 5L

~ 5o
~ 40

Figure 2 Top of Nozzle - Upper Surface

~ 30
~ 20

Figure 3 plots the lower surface, inside surface of shell, at the


top of the nozzle. The WRC and Finite Element stress
intensities are consistent.

10
0
0

10

20

30

Distance from Nozzle, in


160
"~.. 140
120

80
10020
6o ~
40

Figure 5 B o t t o m o f N o z z l e - L o w e r Surface

--e,-- 1L
---~t.-- 2L
......~ 3L
,-,,,~,, ,,,4L
X 5L

:'~

Figures 6 and 7 are the stress intensities for the surfaces of the
fight side of the nozzle. In Fig. 6 WRC 107 underestimates
the stress intensities, but the magnitudes are small compared
to the stress intensities in the loading direction in Figs. 2
through 7.

0
0

10

20

30

m
- 30

Distance from Nozzle, in

~" 25

--e.-,..- 1U
--E,-- 2U
.....~ 3U
~-~,~.~4U
:X 5U

~W 2o

Figure 3 Top of Nozzle - Lower Surface

= 15
-~ 10

Figure 4 plots the stress intensities at the upper, or outer,


surface at the bottom of the nozzle. WRC 107 significantly
overestimates the stress intensities at the edge of the
reinforcing pad.

5
0

10

20

30

Distance from Nozzle, in


Figure 6 R i g h t Side o f N o z z l e - U p p e r Surface

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WRC 107 also underestimates the stress intensities in Fig. 7,


The stress intensities for the left side of the nozzle are
identical to the stress intensities on the fight side of the nozzle
due to symmetry of the vessels and loading. The left side
stress intensities are not shown as the plots would be
redundant.

60

..~

30

.--Q-- 2L
~o-,- 3L

-~ 2O

-..~..~- 4L

E~ 10

X 5L

- . o - - 1L

40

--e-- 1L

~'
4O

60

.~

5o

.-w-- 2L

3L

~ 2o
,~

x
,

10

20

5L

30

Figure 9 Top of Nozzle - Lower Surface


Figure 10 plots the stress intensities at the upper surface
of the fight side of the nozzle. WRC 107 overestimates the
stress intensities at the edge of the reinforcing pad.

30

Distance from Nozzle, in

Figure 7 Right Side of Nozzle - Lower Surface

70
"~. 60

Figures 8 through 13 are for the circumferential load


shown in Table 1. Figures 8 and 9 are for the top of the
nozzle. The stress intensities at the bottom of the nozzle are
identical due to symmetry of the load case and are not shown.
In Fig. 8 the stress intensities are essentially the same at the
edge of the reinforcing pad.

50
40

- - , - - 1U
--I~-- 2U

~ 3o

,:.~...3U

= 20
~ 10
0

-~,;~.,,~,.4U

X
0

60

a.
J

20

Distance from Nozzle, in

.....~ - 4 L

10~

10

10

20

5U

30

Distance from Nozzle, in

50

+ I U

Figure 10 Right Side of N o z z l e - Upper Surface

-m--2U
.....
~.,

3U

-- 20

-~.....~ 4U

~ 10

X 5U

10

20

Figure 11 is a plot of the stress intensities at the lower


surface of the fight side of the nozzle.
WRC 107
overestimates the stress intensity at the edge of the reinforcing
pad.

30

.= 80

Distance from Nozzle, in

j - 70

1
/

{ 60
50
= 40

Figure 9 plots the lower surface stress intensities at top of the


nozzle. The stress intensities agree closely at the edge of the
reinforcing pad.

~ 2o

1L

- - I - 2L

Figure 8 Top of Nozzle - Upper Surface

~ 10
0

10

20

~..~;~.~-3L
-,~<,,,oo4L

5L

30

Distance from Nozzle, in

Figure 11 Right Side of Nozzle - Lower Surface


Figure 12 is a plot of the upper surface stress intensities at
the left side of the nozzle. WRC 107 overestimates the stress

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intensities at the nozzle and at the edge of the reinforcing pad.


Method 1 shows some deviation near the edge of the
reinforcing pad.
=

100

~"

80

60

+ l U

-.S-- 2U
3U

40
=

20

....~---.~4 U

X
0

10

20

5U

30

Distance from Nozzle, in

The four finite element methods are listed in order of


modeling complexity, with Method 1 being the easiest to
implement and the most common method used in pressure
vessel modeling. Method 2 results are very close to Methods
3 and 4, and are essentially identical beyond the outer edge of
the reinforcing pad. In this study finite element Method
lappears to be not be totally consistent with the other three
finite element approaches in the directions of the moment
loads. However, it appears that all four methods are probably
more accurate than WRC 107. In several of the plots the
WRC 107 estimates are considerably higher than the f'mite
element results. In these cases, the more accurate finite
element results indicate that the vessel design is adequate
where WRC 107 indicates a failed design.

F i g u r e 12 L e f t Side o f N o z z l e - U p p e r S u r f a c e

Figure 13 is a plot of the lower surface stress


intensities on the left side of the nozzle.
WRC 107
overestimates the stress intensity at the edge of the reinforcing
pad.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
4 Front Engineering of Baton Rouge, Louisiana provided
access to the COMPRESS pressure vessel design and analysis
software package without which this project would not have
been possible.

60

a. 50

--e--lL

40

--m-- 2L

ao

-.,,::~~. 3L

-- 20

..~-~.,~.- 4 L

10

10

20

5L

30

Distance from Nozzle, in


F i g u r e 13 L e f t S i d e o f N o z z l e - L o w e r S u r f a c e

In Figs. 10-13, there is significant mismatch between case


1 and the others. Case 1 is equivalent to welding a forging
into the shell. This forging is significantly stiffer than the
shell or reinforcing pad and the shell is relatively less stiff in
the circumferential direction. This effect distorts the shell
outside of the reinforcing pad diameter. The effect does not
occur with the longitudinal moment loading as the vessel is
stiffer in the longitudinal direction.

REFERENCES
[1] ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII,
2001.
[2] Welding Research Council Bulletin 107, 1979, Welding
Research Council.
[3] Pastor, T.P., and Hechmer, J., "ASME Task Group Report
on Primary Stress," Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology,
February 1997,Vol. 119, pp. 61-67.
[4] Moini, H., and Mitchell, T.P., "Stress-Analysis of a
Thick-Walled Pressure-Vessel Nozzle Junction," International
Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping, 1991, Vol. 46, No. 1,
pp. 67-74.
[5] Jawad, M.H., and Farr, J.R., Structural Analysis and
Design of Process Equipment, Second Edition, 1989, John
Wiley and Sons.
[6] Porter, M.A., Martens, D.H., and Marcal, P., "On Using
Finite Element Analysis for Pressure Vessel Design,"PVP,
ASME.
[7] Welding Research Council Bulletin 429, 1998, Welding
Research Council.
[8] Porter, M.A., Martens, D.H., and Hsieh, C.S., "A
Comparison of Finite Element Codes and Recommended
Investigation Methodology," PVP Vol. 359, 1997, ASME,
New York, NY, pp. 241-246.

CONCLUSIONS
Linear elastic fmite element analysis using shell elements
can be effectively used to demonstrate that some designs that
are considered marginal or failed by a less precise method
such as WRC 107, are in actuality, adequate.

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