It is a regular practice in the oil industry to modify mechanical equipment to incorporate new technologies and to optimize production. In the case of pressure vessels, it is occasionally required to cut large openings in their walls in order to have access to the interior part of the equipment for executing modifications. This cutting process produces temporary loads, which were obviously not considered in the original mechanical design. Up to now, there is not a general purpose specification for approaching the assessments of stress levels once a large opening in a vertical pressure vessel has been made. Therefore stress distributions around large openings are analyzed on a case-by-case basis without a reference scheme. This work studies the distribution of the von Mises equivalent stresses around a large opening in FCC Regenerators during internal cyclone replacement, which is a frequently required practice for this kind of equipment. A finite element parametric model was developed in ANSYS, and both numerical results and illustrating figures are presented.

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