The buckling design criteria of elliptical heads in ASME VIII-1, ASME NH, and RCC-MRx are reviewed and compared. Accordingly, an external pressure chart (EPC) based buckling design approach is developed for elliptical heads in the creep range. Results indicate that for instantaneous buckling design, RCC-MRx predicts higher allowable pressure compared with ASME NH, which is ascribed to the smaller design factor. The proposed method produces a similar result with that given by ASME VIII-1. By contrast, the proposed method leads to a reasonably conservative result with the factor n of 0.03 for the creep buckling design. While the simplified method in RCC-MRx provides an over-conservative solution.

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