Design Rules in the ASME Code, Section VIII, Division 1, cover the design of unreinforced and reinforced rectangular pressure vessels. These rules are based on “infinitely long” vessels of non-circular cross section and stresses calculated are based on a linearized “small deflection” theory of plate bending. In actual practice, many pressure vessels can be found which are of finite length, often operating successfully under pressures two to three times as high as those permitted under the Code rules cited. This paper investigates the effects of finite length on the design formulae given by the ASME Code, and also a design method based on “large deflection” theory coefficients for short rectangular pressure vessels. Results based on analysis are compared with values obtained from finite element computations, and with experimental data from strain gage measurements on a test pressure vessel.

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