During the concept design phase of a series of pressure vessels for nuclear application, an approach was developed to provide minimum vessel sizing under dynamic loading conditions. Calculations had been undertaken to determine an initial tentative vessel wall thickness using ASME III Subsection NB, however only a limited assessment of mechanical loading was undertaken.

This paper outlines a static analysis approach for extending the structural analysis of a pressure vessel shell to include design condition loadings. These include dynamic loading, support reactions and external piping reactions which can have a significant influence on the required minimum wall thickness.

This paper is limited to outlining generic rules and assumptions that can be applied to the preliminary concept design of pressure vessels. The method was originally captured to aid knowledge sharing within the design team. It does not prescribe an exact methodology but rather an interpretation and application of the design code. The aim is to provide a better defined vessel geometry upon which to base the detailed finite element stress analyses for both design and service conditions. The perceived benefit of this approach is that there will be a lower likelihood of major design changes being during the detail phase.

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