A variational formulation for the pure in-plane bending problem of pressurized elbows with arbitrary cross section, written in the 3-D infinitesimal displacement continuum mechanics framework, and particularly appropriate when a refined elastic-plastic local response is needed (e.g., in the presence of ratcheting), is presented. The similarity between this problem and an axisymmetric analysis is underlined and turned to account to solve the former using existing FE routines devoted to the latter. Some applications are given to illustrate the potentialities of the model.

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