The criteria of piping seismic design based on linear elastic analysis has been proved to be conservative, which is mainly because the influence of plastic deformation on piping dynamic response is neglected. In the present paper, a pipe under seismic excitation is simplified as an beam with tubular cross section subjected to steady axial force and fully reversed cyclic bending moment, and the elastic-plastic behavior of the pipe is studied. Various behavior of the pipe under different combinations of axial force and cyclic bending moment is discussed and the boundary curve equations between them are obtained. Also the load regime diagram for a pipe which is formed by the boundary curve equations in the loading plane is given, from which the elastic-plastic behavior of the pipe can be determined directly.

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