As is well known stress concentration will appear in any application where some form of geometric discontinuity is present. To deal with such situations the so called Stress Concentration Factors (SCF) concept was developed and is widely used in both analysis and design of loaded components especially when subjected to fatigue, usually the working condition of vessels. However, recent observations suggest that the influence of member length on the magnitude of the stated SCF’s was not considered. In this work, this observation was studied in the context of cylindrical vessels and it was found that in this case, as well, length could be a critical factor when computing stresses developed as a result of externally applied loads. The values of the Finite Element (FE) calculated Theoretical Stress Concentration Factors (TSCF’s) are computed, for the case of short circular cylinders with circular holes subjected to axial tension, and presented in a fashion similar to existing published results. It is shown that significantly larger stress concentrations appear for short members. The novel concept of transition length, that defines the threshold between long plates and short plates, is discussed in the context of this study and reported as well.

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