An identical stress analysis method based on the thin shell theory is carried out for cylindrical shells with normally intersecting nozzles subjected to internal pressure and six kinds of external branch pipe loads involving axial tension, two kinds of transverse shear forces, longitudinal and circumferential bending and torsion moments. The thin shell theoretical solution is obtained based on the Morley equation instead of the Donnell shallow shell equation. The accurate continuity conditions at the intersecting curve, which is a complicated space curve, are adopted. The presented results are verified by three-dimensional finite element method (FEM). The theoretical solution can be applied to d/D ≤ 0.8, λ = d/DT ≤ 12 and d/Dt/T ≤ 2 successfully. The solutions are in good agreement with WRC Bulletin 297 when diameter ratio is small. In the paper some typical design curves calculated by the theoretical solutions are presented and their applicable ranges are greatly expanded in comparison with current design methods.

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