Research Papers: Design and Analysis

Failure Prediction of Pressure Vessels Using Finite Element Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
Christopher J. Evans

Applied Research Lab,
P.O. Box 30,
State College, PA 16804
e-mail: cje107@arl.psu.edu

Timothy F. Miller

Applied Research Lab,
P.O. Box 30,
State College, PA 16804
e-mail: nfn@arl.psu.edu

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received June 19, 2014; final manuscript received November 12, 2014; published online February 27, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Kunio Hasegawa.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 137(5), 051206 (Oct 01, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: PVT-14-1091; doi: 10.1115/1.4029192 History: Received June 19, 2014; Revised November 12, 2014; Online February 27, 2015

This paper investigates using nonlinear finite element analysis (FEA) to determine the failure pressure and failure location for pressure vessels. The method investigated by this paper is to predict the pressure-vessel failure point by identifying the pressure and location where the total mechanical strain exceeds the actual elongation limit of the material. A symmetrically shaped component and a nonsymmetric shaped component are analyzed to determine the failure pressure and location. Data were then gathered by testing each pressure vessel to determine its actual failure pressure. Comparing the FEA results with experimental data showed that the fea software predicted the failure pressure and location very well for the symmetric shaped pressure vessel, however, for the nonsymmetrical shaped pressure-vessel, the fea software predicted the failure pressure within a reasonable range, but the component failed at a weld instead of the predicted location. This difference in failure location was likely caused by varying material properties in both the weld and the location where the vessel was predicted to fail.

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Fig. 1

Puncture-disk valve geometry

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Fig. 2

Toroidal pressure-vessel geometry

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Fig. 3

Toroidal pressure-vessel mesh

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Fig. 4

Nonlinear material data

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Fig. 5

Tensile specimen and deformed tensile FEA model

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Fig. 6

Tensile test model validation

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Fig. 7

Puncture-disk pressure-vessel boundary conditions

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Fig. 8

Toroidal pressure-vessel boundary conditions

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Fig. 9

Geometry for the toroidal analytical calculation

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Fig. 10

Puncture-disk FEA results

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Fig. 11

Equivalent stress (von-Mises)

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Fig. 12

Equivalent-stress (von-Mises) crack progression

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Fig. 13

Toroidal pressure-vessel total mechanical strain

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Fig. 14

Toroidal vessel failure predicted location

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Fig. 15

Photograph of puncture-disk failure

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Fig. 16

Toroidal pressure-vessel failure location

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Fig. 17

Photograph of predicted failure location with magnified view of wrinkles

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Fig. 18

Photograph of failure initiation location and view of inside wrinkles



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