General purpose nonlinear computer programs are frequently used to satisfy inelastic code criteria. It is important to know the sensitivity of the predicted results to variations in the input parameters. For example, a variation in the material properties may have a significant effect on the response of a structural component. Just how much effect a 20 percent variation in the yield strength of a material would have on the inelastic response of a structural component cannot now be estimated by a rule-of-thumb approach using accumulated prior experience. Because the detailed inelastic analyses are expensive, very limited numerical data are generated in this area. As more information is made available, it may be feasible to arrive at some guidelines for designers similar to those established by experience in the elastic design of structural components. This paper contributes to the available body of experience by examining the effect of the variation in yield strength of the material, and a change in the shell thickness, on the inelastic response of a primary closure seal.

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