With regard to piping systems of industrial facilities, sometimes they are subject to large deformation with high local plasticity. This results mainly from the detrimental ground movement due to possible liquefaction near seaside when a strong earthquake occurs. Especially the high local plasticity concentrates on elbows (bends) in piping systems. In this paper, the elbow behaviors of in-plane (closing: deflection to decrease elbow radius of curvature and opening: deflection to increase its radius of curvature) and out-of-plane bending are analyzed in a large plastic range using Nonlinear Finite Element Method (FEM) with the shell elements of material and geometrical nonlinear characteristics. The flexibility factor of elbows depends on flexibility characteristics, angular distortion and yield stress of material. Thus, in order to estimate the behaviors of piping systems with large plasticity at elbow by a simplified method, the modified flexibility factor method is introduced from results of FEM. Calculation results obtained using the simplified method are compared with experimental results, and this method gives an index to assess behaviors of piping systems subject to extremely large movement of supports. It is also possible to estimate local plasticity at elbows in piping systems by this conventional analysis.

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