A description is given of the utility of influence coefficients for analyzing pressure vessels. To illustrate their advantages two relatively complex problems were selected and their final stress distributions calculated. The problems were (i) a cylinder closed by a torispherical head and (ii) a cylinder joined to a smaller cylinder by an ellipsoidal-toroidal shell. Two vessels were analyzed using influence coefficients which have recently become available. It is shown that accurate stress distributions can be obtained quickly and that a specialized knowledge of shell theory is not required. The method also shows the distribution of bending stresses throughout the shells. These latter, which can be important, are usually ignored by the various codes.

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