A specialized shell-intersection finite element, which is compatible with adjoining shell elements, has been developed and has the capability of physically representing the complex three-dimensional geometry and stress state at shell intersections (Koves, 1993). The element geometry is a contoured shape that matches a wide variety of practical nozzle configurations used in ASME Code pressure vessel construction, and allows computational rigor. A closed-form theory of elasticity solution was used to compute the stress state and strain energy in the element. The concept of an energy-equivalent nodal displacement and force vector set was then developed to allow complete compatibility with adjoining shell elements and retain the analytical rigor within the element. This methodology provides a powerful and robust computation scheme that maintains the computational efficiency of shell element solutions. The shell-intersection element was then applied to the cylinder-sphere and cylinder-cylinder intersection problems.

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