Stresses as calculated by two available computer programs for the analysis of pressure vessels are compared to photoelastic data obtained for a series of pressure vessels with hemispherical and torispherical heads. Of these, one program is based upon Love’s first approximation to the theory of thin elastic shells and the other is based upon a higher-order theory of shells. The comparison shows that programs based on either theory can be used with equal confidence in the calculation of stresses in pressure vessels.

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