The design of pressurized equipment such as columns, towers and reactors, heaters subjected to external loads is important from a safety point of view. Pressure vessel design codes provide guidelines for the combination of membrane stresses due to external loads and hoop stress. Customarily the seismic loads imposed by pressure vessel design codes are functions of allowable stress. The factor R is a modification factor of the design response spectrum. Its numerical value is based the capacity of a structural system to resist seismic actions in the nonlinear range. It generally reduces the seismic design forces to be smaller than those corresponding to a linear elastic response. The Uniform Building Code (UBC) has been used extensively for the seismic design of pressure vessels. With the advent of EUROCODES [2], the values proposed by UBC for factor R (usually 3 or 4) are not automatically accepted by local authorities. The pressure vessel mechanical designer must select a factor R that satisfies both the requirements of the pressure vessel code and the structural design code (local code) where the vessel is installed. This problem has also been acknowledged by several collogues in the past PVP conferences. In this paper the factor R is examined using ASME [10] codes and the guidelines provided by EUROCODES. A common basis for the selection of the factor R that satisfies both allowable stress design philosophies and structural design codes is established.

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