The mechanism of failure of tube-to-tubesheet joints is related to the level of stresses produced in the tube expansion and transition zones during the expansion process. Maintaining a lower bound limit of the initial residual contact pressure over the lifetime of the expanded joint is a key solution to a leak free joint. An accurate model that estimates these stresses can be a useful tool to the design engineer to select the proper material geometry combination in conjunction with the required expansion pressure. Most existing design calculations are based on an elastic perfectly plastic behavior of the expansion joint materials. The proposed model is based on a strain hardening with a bilinear material behavior of the tube and the tubesheet. The interaction of these two components is simulated during the whole process of the application of the expansion pressure. The effects of the gap and the material strain hardening are to be emphasized. The model results are validated and confronted against the more accurate numerical finite element analysis models. Additional comparisons have been made to existing methods.

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