Considerations in the Design and Analysis of an ASME Section VIII, Div. 2 Reactor Support Skirt

[+] Author and Article Information
Dennis K. Williams

 Sharoden Engineering Consultants, P.A., P.O. Box 1336, 1153 Willow Oaks Trail, Matthews, NC 28106-1336DennisKW@sharoden.com

Trevor G. Seipp

 Becht Engineering Canada Ltd., 110-259 Midpark Way, S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 1M2, Canadaseippt@asme.org

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 129(2), 316-322 (Feb 19, 2007) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2722301 History: Received January 30, 2006; Revised February 19, 2007

This paper describes the considerations employed in the finite element analysis of a relatively “short” support skirt on a hydrocarbon reactor vessel. The analysis is accomplished in accordance with ASME B&PV Code, Section VIII, Division 2 alternate rules in conjunction with the guidelines outlined in WRC Bulletin 429. This provides a sound basis for the classification of the calculated stress intensities. The support skirt is capable of sustaining the deadweight load in addition to resisting the effects of thermal displacements, wind loadings, overturning moments from external piping loads on the attached hydrocarbon reactor vessel, and friction between the skirt base plate and concrete foundation. The displacement and thermal boundary conditions are well defined and discussed in detail. The effects of multiple scenarios for the displacement boundary conditions are examined. The skirt design also employs a hot-box arrangement whereby the primary mode of heat transfer is by radiation. A discussion of the two-part analysis is included and details the interaction between the heat transfer analysis and the subsequent structural analysis. The heat transfer finite element analysis is utilized to determine the temperatures throughout the bottom of the vessel shell and head, as well as the integrally attached support skirt. Of prime importance during the analysis is the axial thermal gradient present in the skirt from the base plate up to and slightly beyond the skirt-to-shell junction. While the geometry of the subject vessel and skirt is best described as axisymmetric, the imposed loadings are a mixture of axisymmetric and non-axisymmetric. This combination lends itself to the judicious selection and utilization of the harmonic finite element and properly chosen Fourier series representation of the applied loads. Comparison of the thermally induced axial stress gradient results from the FEA to those obtained by the closed form beam-on-elastic-foundation are also tendered and discussed. Finally, recommendations are included for the design and analysis of critical support skirts for large, heavy-wall vessels.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 3

Temperature (°C) results for the summer case

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Figure 4

Thermal stress intensity (Pa) in the skirt-to-shell junction region for the winter thermal case

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Figure 5

Thermal stress intensity (Pa) in the skirt-to-shell junction region for the summer thermal case

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Figure 6

Thermal displacement plot. The displacement is exaggerated 10 times

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Figure 7

Thermal-plus-mechanical stress intensity (Pa)

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Figure 8

Stress classification line locations

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Figure 1

Geometry and thermal boundary conditions

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Figure 2

Temperature (°C) results for the winter case



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