Pressure vessels are common components of plant currently in operation within the nuclear industry and elsewhere. Their assessment and maintenance is of paramount importance to the integrity and safe working of the plant. Often these pressure vessels contain highly corrosive substances, which over time, cause deterioration in the integrity of the vessel. Current codes and standards such as BS7910, API579 and FITNET provide guidance on the assessment of cylinders and pipes with localised and general corrosion, but to date, no such guidance is available for complete vessels, where the corrosion occurs in the lower region of the vessel, e.g. where the base of a vessel is connected to the vessel wall. This paper investigates the resistance to plastic collapse, from internal pressure loading, of flat based cylindrical pressure vessels, where the base and wall thicknesses are considerably different due to corrosion damage. A ‘First Estimate’ or conservative lower bound collapse pressure solution for such vessels is described. The solution has been derived using axi-symmetric finite element models with varying degrees of general corrosion thinning.

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