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Finite Element Analysis of Industrial Steel Elbows Under Strong Cyclic Loading

[+] Author Affiliations
George E. Varelis, Patricia Pappa, Spyros A. Karamanos

University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

Paper No. PVP2011-57260, pp. 109-119; 11 pages
  • ASME 2011 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 8: Seismic Engineering
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 17–21, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4458-8
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Steel elbows are used in petrochemical facilities and power plants. In the case of an earthquake event, in addition to other service loads, they are subjected to strong repeated cyclic structural loading that may lead to failure due to cyclic accumulation of plastic strain or collapse. Furthermore, due to their flexibility, significant non-linearities occur and the elbow cross-section shape distorts as cyclic loading takes place resulting at an oval or flatten shape at the end of the loading sequence. Accumulation of plastic strains takes place at the most stressed parts of the elbow, associated with extensive bulging of the cross-section which is more pronounced in the presence of internal pressure. The present study is numerical, based on a finite element simulation of the elbow, and examines elbow behavior subjected to strong cyclic bending in the presence of internal pressure. The material constitutive model has a dominant effect on describing the elbow response, and this is shown through the employment of three different classical plasticity models.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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