Ensuring sufficient safety against ratcheting is a fundamental requirement of pressure vessel design. However, determining the ratchet boundary using a full elastic plastic finite element analysis can be problematic and a number of direct methods have been proposed to overcome difficulties associated with ratchet boundary evaluation. This paper proposes a new approach, similar to the previously proposed Hybrid method but based on fully implicit elastic-plastic solution strategies. This method utilizes superimposed elastic stresses and modified radial return integration to converge on the residual state throughout, resulting in one Finite Element model suitable for solving the cyclic stresses (stage 1) and performing the augmented limit analysis to determine the ratchet boundary (stage 2). The modified radial return methods for both stages of the analysis are presented, with the corresponding stress update algorithm and resulting consistent tangent moduli. Comparisons with other direct methods for selected benchmark problems are presented. It is shown that the proposed method consistently evaluates a lower bound estimate of the ratchet boundary, which has not been demonstrated for the Hybrid method and is yet to be clearly shown for the UMY and LDYM methods. Limitations in the description of plastic strains and compatibility during the ratchet analysis are identified as being a cause for the differences between the proposed methods and other current upper bound methods.

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