Stresses in Class 1 branch connections that consist of large bore run pipe with a reinforced branch nozzle should rarely be limited by the run–branch interface stresses. The end of the “branch nozzle – branch pipe” interface is the location on the branch nozzle one would expect to see the limiting stress. Therefore, it is important that reasonable Design Rules are maintained in the ASME Code Section III for the stress analyses of the Class 1 Piping branch connections to avoid over-predicting the “run pipe - branch nozzle” interface stresses. This will allow the analysts to concentrate on load reductions needed in a logical manner.

In Class 1 Piping Design, the calculation of the branch total stress due to the moments is the result of the sum of the stresses from the run moment and of the stresses from the branch moment with these branch moment stresses being calculated using either the branch pipe cross-section or the branch nozzle cross-section. This in itself is already severe, when compared with other Piping Design Rules for branch connections. In addition, starting with the ASME Code year 2002, the branch-side moment stress is based exclusively on the branch pipe cross-section, which leads to a higher moment stress, and this higher moment stress is still absolutely added to the run-side moment stress. As indicated in that ASME Code year 2002 and beyond, this addition is independent of the length of the branch nozzle reinforcement. This leads to total moment stresses that are the sums of moment stresses that do not occur at all at the same location.

The purpose of this technical paper is to compare a) the stresses calculated with the earlier more correct Class 1 Piping methodology from 2001 and before 2001; b) the stresses calculated with the more recent and more severe Class 1 Piping methodology; and c) the stresses from finite-element analyses.

Conclusions are provided on what should be done for the future Class 1 Piping Design methodology of branch connections.

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