Piping caters a major role in the process industries wherein stress intensification factor (SIF) express the Piping flexibility of the system. A typical Piping system consists of combination of pipes and various fittings with intersection geometries namely bend, tee, reducer, etc. A SIF is a multiplier on nominal bending stress so that the effect of geometry and welding can be considered in a flexibility analysis. An attempt has been made to compare the SIF values among ASME Piping B31.3, Welded Research Council (WRC) Bulletin 329, Paulin Research Group (PRG) empirical data and shell-based finite element analysis (FEA) for various tee sections based on in-plane and out-plane bending moments through this paper. The bending moment which causes tee to open/close in the plane formed by two limbs of tee is called in-plane bending moment. The bending moment which causes branch of tee to displace out of the plane retaining run pipe steady is called Out-plane bending moment.
ASME B31.3 provide guidelines to evaluate SIF values through empirical formulation as per Appendix-D with few limitations listed below.
1. Valid for d/D < 0.5 only
2. Non-conservative for 0.5 < d/D < 1.0
3. Valid for D/T ≤ 100
4. SIF values calculated with respect to header pipe. There is no difference in SIF values for header and branch pipe and it is the average value.
WRC 329 was published in 1987 and has not been updated taking ASME B31.3 latest edition into account. PRG carried out SIF for the various sizes and types of tee fittings and prepared correlation equations through detailed FEA using nonlinear regression and test data.