This paper is based on work done to establish the validity of a simple engineering approach to assess plastic collapse for a vessel with a local thin area (LTA). The approach is based on a recently developed p-M (internal pressure ratio and external bending moment ratio) diagram, which is an easy way to visualize the status of a vessel with a LTA simultaneously subjected to internal pressure, p and external bending moment, M due to earthquake, etc. If the assessment point (Mr,pr) lies inside the p-M line, the vessel with the LTA is judged to be safe. Numerous experiments and finite element analyses for a cylinder with an external flaw were conducted under (1) pure internal pressure, (2) pure external bending moment, and (3) subjected simultaneously to both internal pressure and external bending moment, in order to determine the plastic initiation load and plastic collapse load by applying the twice-elastic slope (TES) as recommended by ASME. It has been clarified that the collapse (TES) loads are similar to those calculated under the proposed p-M line based on the measured yield stress. The p-M line adopted in the Ibaraki fitness for service (FFS) rule based on the specified minimum yield stress with a safety factor of 1.5 indicates that the safety margin for the plastic initiation loads at LTA is about 1.0–3.0, about 1.5–4.0 for the TES loads at LTA, and 2.5–6.5 for the plastic instability (break) loads.

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