Typically the use of SHELL finite elements to model nozzle/vessel interfaces will not include details of the weld at the interface. The omission of the weld details from SHELL element models is due to the difficulty in implementing such details and the assumption that additional interface stiffness due to the weld will have a negligible effect on results at locations of interest for Code evaluation. This study will demonstrate a proposed method for modeling weld details with SHELL elements and then evaluate the magnitude of the weld stiffness effect on results and Code compliance.

The method of modeling the weld details with SHELL elements used in this study will follow the guidance provided by ASME BPVC Section VIII, Division 2, Annex 5.A [2] for such interfaces. Models of nozzle/vessel interfaces will be shown comparing results of SOLID element models with and without the weld detail, and then SHELL element models both with and without the weld detail. The results from these models will be evaluated and recommendations for future modeling and evaluation of nozzle/shell interfaces with SHELL elements will be offered.

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