An investigation of the cyclic elastic-plastic response of an Olefin plant heat exchanger subject to cyclic thermal and pressure loading is presented. The heat exchanger configuration is non-standard as the tube-sheet thickness is considerably less than that required by conventional design by formula rules. Ratchetting assessment is performed using the elastic stress analysis and stress categorization procedure, which indicates that shakedown occurs under the specified loading. The cyclic elastic-plastic response of the heat exchanger is also modeled by inelastic analysis, assuming both elastic perfectly plastic and a strain hardening material models. In the elastic-perfect plastic analysis, the vessel exhibits incremental plastic strain accumulation for 10 full load cycles, with no indication that the configuration will adapt to steady state elastic or plastic action; i.e. elastic shakedown or plastic shakedown. However, the strain increments are small and would not lead to the development of a global plastic collapse or gross plastic deformation during the specified life of the vessel. The strain hardening analysis indicates that the actual vessel will adapt to plastic shakedown after 6 load cycles.

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