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Guest Editorial

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010301-010301-2. doi:10.1115/1.4041284.
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The scientific community is currently paying particular attention on the effects of Na-Tech events to industrial facilities for the important economic and social impact that these events can entail on the society. In fact, effective risk analysis is critical for industrial plants to assure the necessary safety level as clearly demonstrated by very recent events as the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. Nevertheless, the effort in developing new techniques is being more and more important as clearly proven by the rapid increasing of the contributions on this topic.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: SPECIAL SECTION PAPERS

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010901-010901-15. doi:10.1115/1.4040804.

Earthquakes represent a class of natural-technical (NaTech) hazards which in the past have been responsible of major accidents and significant losses in many industrial sites. However, while codes and standards are issued to design specific structures and equipment in both the civil and industrial domain, established procedures for seismic quantitative risk assessment (QRA) of process plants are not yet available. In this paper, a critical review of seismic QRA methods applicable to process plants is carried out. Their limitations are highlighted and areas where further research is needed are identified. This will allow to refine modeling tools in order to increase the capabilities of risk analysis in process plants subjected to earthquakes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010902-010902-13. doi:10.1115/1.4039634.

A simplified approach is presented for the seismic performance assessment of liquid storage tanks. The proposed methodology relies on a nonlinear static analysis, in conjunction with suitable “strength ratio-ductility-period” relationships, to derive the associated structural demand for the desired range of seismic intensities. In the absence of available relationships that are deemed fit to represent the nonlinear-elastic response of liquid storage tanks, several incremental dynamic analyses are performed for variable post-yield hardening ratios and periods in order to form a set of data that enables the fitting of the response. Following the identification of common modes of failure such as elephant's foot buckling (EFB), base plate plastic rotation, and sloshing wave damage, the aforementioned relationships are employed to derive the 16%, 50%, and 84% percentiles for each of the respective response parameters. Fragility curves are extracted for the considered failure modes, taking special care to appropriately quantify both the median and the dispersion of capacity and demand. A comparison with the corresponding results of incremental dynamic analysis (IDA) reveals that the pushover approach offers a reasonable agreement for the majority of failure modes and limit states considered.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010903-010903-10. doi:10.1115/1.4039635.

Catastrophic failure of the above ground steel storage tanks was observed during past earthquakes, which caused serious economic and environmental consequences. Many of the existing tanks were designed in the past with outdated analysis methods and with underestimated seismic loads. Therefore, the evaluation of the seismic vulnerability of these tanks, especially ones located in seismic prone areas, is extremely important. Seismic fragility functions are useful tools to quantify the seismic vulnerability of structures in the framework of probabilistic seismic risk assessment. These functions give the probability that a seismic demand on a given structural component meets or exceeds its capacity. The objective of this study is to examine the seismic vulnerability of an unanchored steel storage tank, considering the uncertainty of modeling parameters that are related to material and geometric properties of the tank. The significance of uncertain modeling parameters is first investigated with a screening study, which is based on nonlinear static pushover analyses of the tank using the abaqus software. In this respect, a fractional factorial design and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) have been adopted. The results indicate that the considered modeling parameters have significant effects on the uplift behavior of the tank. The fragility curves of two critical failure modes, i.e., the buckling of the shell plate and the plastic rotation of the shell-to-bottom plate joint, are then developed based on a simplified model of the tank, where the uplift behavior is correctly modeled from the static pushover analysis. The uncertainty associated with the significant parameters previously identified are considered in the fragility analysis using a sampling procedure to generate statistically significant samples of the model. The relative importance of different treatment levels of the uncertainty on the fragility curves of the tank is assessed and discussed in detail.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010904-010904-14. doi:10.1115/1.4040137.

The evaluation of seismic vulnerability of atmospheric above ground steel storage tanks is a fundamental topic in the context of industrial safety. Depending on the shell portion affected, on the extent of damage, and on toxicity, flammability, and reactivity of stored substances, liquid leakages can trigger hazardous chains of events whose consequences affect not only the plant but also the surrounding environment. In light of that, the study proposed herein provides an analysis of the seismic fragility of cylindrical above ground storage tanks based on observational damage data. The first phase of this work has consisted in collecting a large empirical dataset of information on failures of atmospheric tanks during past earthquakes. Two sets of damage states have then been used in order to characterize the severity of damage and the intensity of liquid releases. Empirical fragility curves have been fitted by using Bayesian regression. The advantage of this approach is that it is well suited to treat direct and indirect information obtained from field observations and to incorporate subjective engineering judgement. Different models have been employed in order to investigate the effects of tank aspect ratio, filling level, and base anchorage. Moreover, the effects of interaction between these critical aspects are included in fragility analysis. The hazard parameter used is the peak ground acceleration (PGA). Seismic fragility curves obtained from the described procedure are compared to those available in the technical literature.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010905-010905-7. doi:10.1115/1.4040313.

Seismic hazard represents one of the possible triggering causes for NaTech accidents in refineries and production plants. The vulnerability of steel storage tanks was evaluated within the framework of a rapid risk assessment. Tanks dataset is composed of 70 refinery items in located in various parts of Italy and the seismic calculations are performed in accordance to API 650 Annex E Standard. The paper summarizes the results of the investigation through two normalized parameters related to the masses and to the seismic load. Some trends in the solution are highlighted. The empirical fragility curve obtained from the analysis is compared with similar curves found in the literature and the resulting similarities (and dissimilarities) are critically discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010906-010906-13. doi:10.1115/1.4039004.

Many studies assessing the damage from 1971 San Fernando and 1994 North Ridge earthquakes reported that the failure of nonstructural components like piping systems was one of the significant reasons for shutdown of hospitals immediately after the earthquakes. This paper is focused on evaluating seismic fragility of a large-scale piping system in representative high-rise, midrise, and low-rise buildings using nonlinear time history analyses. The emphasis is on evaluating piping's interaction with building and its effect on piping fragility. The building models include the effects of nonlinearity in the performance of beams and columns. In a 20-story building that is detuned with the piping system, critical locations are on the top two floors for the linear frame building model. For the nonlinear building model, critical locations are on the bottom two floors. In an eight-story building that is nearly tuned with the piping system, the critical locations for both the linear frame and nonlinear models are the third and fourth floors. It is observed that building nonlinearity can reduce fragility due to reduction in the tuning between building and piping systems. In a two-story building, the nonlinear building frequencies are closer to the critical piping system frequencies than the linear building frequency; the nonlinear building is more fragile than the linear building for this case. However, it is observed that the linear building models give excessively conservative estimates of fragility than the nonlinear building models.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010907-010907-9. doi:10.1115/1.4039697.

This study describes inelastic seismic design of piping systems considering the damping effect caused by elastic–plastic property of a pipe support which is called an elastic–plastic support. Though the elastic–plastic support is proposed as inelastic seismic design framework in the Japan Electric Association code for the seismic design of nuclear power plants (JEAC4601), the seismic responses of the various piping systems with the support are unclear. In this study, the damping coefficient of a piping system is focused on, and the relation between seismic response of the piping system and elastic–plastic behavior of the elastic–plastic support was investigated using nonlinear time history analysis and complex eigenvalue analysis. The analysis results showed that the maximum seismic response acceleration of the piping system decreased largely in the area surrounded by pipe elbows including the elastic–plastic support which allowed plastic deformation. The modal damping coefficient increased a maximum of about sevenfold. Furthermore, the amount of the initial stiffness of the elastic–plastic support made a difference in the increasing tendency of the modal damping coefficient. From the viewpoint of the support model in the inelastic seismic design, the reduction behavior for the seismic response of the piping system was little affected by the 10% variation of the secondary stiffness. These results demonstrated the elastic–plastic support is a useful inelastic seismic design of piping systems on the conditions where the design seismic load is exceeded extremely.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010908-010908-10. doi:10.1115/1.4038724.

An analytical method and a semi-analytical method are proposed to analyze the dynamic thermo-elastic behavior of structures resting on a Pasternak foundation. The analytical method employs a finite Fourier integral transform and its inversion, as well as a Laplace transform and its numerical inversion. The semi-analytical method employs the state space method, the differential quadrature method (DQM), and the numerical inversion of the Laplace transform. To demonstrate the two methods, a simply supported Euler–Bernoulli beam of variable length is considered. The governing equations of the beam are derived using Hamilton's principle. A comparison between the results of analytical method and the results of semi-analytical method is carried out, and it is shown that the results of the two methods generally agree with each other, sometimes almost perfectly. A comparison of natural frequencies between the semi-analytical method and the experimental data from relevant literature shows good agreements between the two kinds of results, and the semi-analytical method is validated. Different numbers of sampling points along the axial direction are used to carry out convergence study. It is found that the semi-analytical method converges rapidly. The effects of different beam lengths and heights, thermal stress, and the spring and shear coefficients of the Pasternak medium are also investigated. The results obtained in this paper can serve as benchmark in further research.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010909-010909-9. doi:10.1115/1.4041285.

Nonstructural components play an important role in the correct functioning of industrial facilities, which may suffer greatly from earthquake-induced actions, as demonstrated by past seismic events. Therefore, the correct evaluation of seismic demands acting upon them is of utmost importance when assessing or designing an industrial complex exposed to seismic hazard. Among others, nonlinear time history analyses (NLTHA) of structural systems including nonstructural elements and floor response spectra are well-known methods for computing these actions, the former being more accurate and the latter being less onerous. This work focuses on deriving floor spectra for a steel special concentrically braced frame (SCBF), which is a common type of lateral-load resisting system for industrial frames. The results are used to compute the seismic actions on a small liquid storage tank mounted on the case study frame. Additionally, the results are compared to those obtained by modeling the structure and the tank together, that is, by modeling the tank explicitly and incorporating it within the model of the support structure. To this end, a simple model, consisting of two uncoupled single degree-of-freedom systems, is used for the tank. The floor spectra resulting from both approaches are compared to establish differences in the behavior of the structure and nonstructural element/component. Finally, the seismic demand on the tank—obtained by direct and indirect analyses—is compared to that obtained by applying ASCE 7-10 and Eurocode 8 prescriptions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):010910-010910-10. doi:10.1115/1.4039502.

Pressure vessel plays an increasingly important role in process industries, in which its performance degradation, such as crack and corrosion, may lead to serious accidents and significant economic losses. Guided wave-based method is a cost-effective means for pressure vessel rapid interrogation. In this paper, the method based on direct-wave and fuzzy C-means clustering algorithm (FCM) is proposed to locate defect for pressure vessel. Finite element (FE) simulation is applied to analyze the propagation characteristics of guided waves. The experiment using the method based on direct-wave and FCM has been conducted on the barrel and head with different sensor arrays, respectively. The variation rule of the direct-wave difference with different distance coefficients has been studied. By combining FCM with the direct-wave difference, the defects on barrel and head can be detected accurately. The defect inspection experiment for pressure vessel using ellipse imaging algorithm is conducted as well. The experimental results show that the method based on direct-wave and FCM can locate the defects on barrel and head of the pressure vessel effectively and accurately.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Design and Analysis

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):011201-011201-14. doi:10.1115/1.4041939.

Thin elastic circular rings under uniform pressure have been extensively studied by many researchers. Both the deflection and buckling behavior of rings were considered in these studies, but most have focused on the small deformations analysis approach. Even though the use of the small deformations assumption helps find the deflections of the ring prior to reaching the buckling load, it does not accurately capture the behavior of the ring after buckling. The in-plane large deformations analysis of thin elastic circular rings under nonuniform pressure explored in this paper expands on previous work and investigates varying pressure profiles. The pressure profiles studied here can be described by p=p01+qcosnθ. The large deformations assumption allows for the investigating of buckling loads as well as post-buckling behavior. Nonuniform normal pressure acting on a thin elastic circular ring results in a behavior that is described by a second-order ordinary differential equation (ODE) of the Duffing type, which is solved here through a numerical approach.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):011202-011202-12. doi:10.1115/1.4041974.

The stress response of an artillery barrel when fired is principally due to loading from gas pressure and contact force with the projectile. This paper reports a research project in which a dynamic model of a barrel and a projectile was established in order to investigate the stress response of an artillery barrel. Calculations of propellant gas pressure, in part determined by the position of the moving projectile, were carried out using user-defined subroutines developed in the abaqus/explicit software. Numerical simulations of the dynamic loading process of the barrel were carried out to examine the radial effects of gas pressures. Using this methodology, the evolution of barrel stress distributions was simulated, providing a visualized representation of the barrel's dynamic response. The calculated dynamic stress due to projectile contact alone can reach a peak value of 181 MPa, reflecting the significant effect of contact force on the barrel's dynamic response. Following this, the effect of propellant combustion on the dynamic response was explored, and the results obtained showed that higher initial temperatures produced more pronounced dynamic responses. Moreover, significant differences in stress distributions computed for the barrel revealed deficiencies in the static strength theory for evaluating the operating conditions, due in part to the omission of contact force and other dynamic effects. This paper proposes an alternative investigative approach for evaluating the dynamic stress response of barrels during the initial phases of the ballistics process, and provides information that should lead to updates and improvements of barrel strength theory, ultimately leading to better predictions of firing reliability and operator safety.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):011203-011203-10. doi:10.1115/1.4041887.

In this paper, we developed an exact analytical 3D elasticity solution to investigate mechanical behavior of a thick multilayered anisotropic fiber-reinforced pressure vessel subjected to multiple mechanical loadings. This closed-form solution was implemented in a computer program, and analytical results were compared to finite element analysis (FEA) calculations. In order to predict through-thickness stresses accurately, three-dimensional finite element meshes were used in the FEA since shell meshes can only be used to predict in-plane strength. Three-dimensional FEA results are in excellent agreement with the analytical results. Finally, using the proposed analytical approach, we evaluated structural damage and failure conditions of the composite pressure vessel using the Tsai–Wu failure criteria and predicted a maximum burst pressure.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Materials and Fabrication

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):011401-011401-12. doi:10.1115/1.4041940.

Abrasive waterjet (AWJ) peening can be used for metal surface strengthening by introducing near-surface plastic strain and compressive residual stress. The present studies seldom focus on residual stress by AWJ peening of targets with different geometrical features. In fact, those targets usually exist on some machine parts including gear roots, shaft shoulders, and stress concentration areas. According to Hertz theory of contact and Miao's theoretical model for predicting residual stress of flat surface, this paper developed a theoretical model for investigating residual stress of targets with different geometrical features including concave arc surface, concave sphere surface, convex arc surface, and sphere surface. AWJ peening of targets with different geometrical features and different radii of Gaussian curved surface was simulated by abaqus. Theoretical results were consistent with numerical simulation results and published experimental results (H. Y. Miao, S. Larose, et al., 2010, “An analytical approach to relate shot peening parameters to Almen intensity,” Surf. Coat. Technol., 205, pp. 2055–2066; Cao et al., 1995, “Correlation of Almen arc height with residual stresses in shot peening process”, Mater. Sci. Technol. 11, pp. 967–973.), which will be helpful for predicting residual stress of gear roots, shaft shoulders, and stress concentration areas after AWJ peening. The research results showed that under the same peening parameters, σmax, σtop, dmax, and dbottom in concave surface (including concave arc surface and concave sphere surface) were the maximum; σmax, σtop, dmax, and dbottom in convex surface (including convex arc surface and sphere surface) were the minimum; for concave surface, σtop, σmax, dbottom, and dmax decreased, respectively, with target radius; for convex surface, σtop, σmax, dbottom, and dmax increased, respectively, with target radius.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Technical Brief

J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 2018;141(1):014501-014501-5. doi:10.1115/1.4041863.

Deciding the boundary conditions is the most difficult part of developing an effective finite element model. Incorrect boundary conditions can cause significant errors in analysis. The finite element analysis has become a popular method of design validation for the transformer tank but the boundary conditions to be used for simulating the pressure test by finite element analysis are not clear. The pressure test analysis is carried out by assuming the bottom surface of the transformer tank to be fixed. This common practice has not been validated and requires verification. In this work, a generalized model of the transformer tank under the pressure was solved to eliminate the assumption, and the results were compared with those of the usual practice. It was found that there was significant difference in the results of the two models indicating the incorrectness of the usual practice.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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