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O

OTC 2306
63
M
Merging ASME
A
an
nd API De
esign Metthods forr Subsea Equipme
ent Up To
o
2
25000 PS
SI Working
g Pressure
C
C. Kocurek, P.
P Pathak, C. Melancon,
M
S. Sohn, Came
eron Internatio
onal Corporattion

C
Copyright 2012, Offshore Technology Confere
ence
T
This paper was prepare
ed for presentation at the Offshore Technolog
gy Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA , 30 April3 May 2012 .
mitted by the author(s)). Contents of the pape
T
This paper was selected for presentation by an
a OTC program comm
mittee following review
w of information containned in an abstract subm
er have not been
re
eviewed by the Offshore Technology Confere
ence and are subject to
o correction by the autthor(s). The material dooes not necessarily re
eflect any position of the Offshore Technologyy Conference, its
officers, or members. Electronic
E
reproduction
n, distribution, or stora
age of any part of this paper without the wriitten consent of the O
Offshore Technology C
Conference is prohibite
ed. Permission to
re
eproduce in print is res
stricted to an abstract of
o not more than 300 words;
w
illustrations mayy not be copied. The abbstract must contain co
onspicuous acknowled
dgment of OTC copyrig
ght.

A
Abstract
A current challenge in the oil industry is thee design of sub
bsea equipmentt for pressures more than 150000 psi. Currennt standard,
A
American Petro
oleum Institutee, Specification
n, 17D (API 17
7D) for designiing subsea equuipment is limited to 15000 ppsi working
ppressure. One of the key reecommendation
ns of API TR
R PER15K (ddraft) is the uttilization of thhe American Society of
M
Mechanical En
ngineers (ASME
E) Boiler and Pressure
P
Vesseel Codes (BPV
VC) for designiing pressure veessels for presssures above
115000 psi. Thiss paper proposes a design meethodology com
mbining the rellevant API andd ASME desiggn codes for thee design of
ssubsea equipmeent for pressurees more than 15000 psi.
Specific gu
uidance is provided in this paper to safelly utilize the ASME designn methods witth API materiials. These
aapproaches allo
ow for the inccrease of ASM
ME design testt pressures to match API whhile satisfyingg ASME and A
API design
aallowable limitts. Methods an
nd guidance are
a provided for
f the use off stress classifi
fication, stress linearization, protection
aagainst general plastic collapsse, local collap
pse, buckling and
a cyclic loadding. Recommeendations are m
made for Load Resistance
D
Design Factors to accommodaate the differen
nce in hydrostaatic test pressurre between AS
SME and API. Additionally, aapproaches
uusing both trad
ditional stress--based fatigue analyses meth
hods and fractture mechanicss theory are ccompared. Thee design of
cclosure bolting
g conforming to
o API requirem
ments is integrrated with the ASME methoods, along withh the recommeendation of
nnon-destructivee examination (NDE)
(
requirem
ments to align with the recom
mmended stresss and fatigue ddesign factors.
An examplee design evalu
uation of a presssure containin
ng API 6A, 4 in. 20 ksi typee 6BX flange is presented foor a design
ppressure of 20000 psi with bolt preload as
a recommend
ded in API 177D. The resultts show the exxisting API m
methods are
aadequate up to 25000 psi and the design verrification metho
ods meet the reecommendatioons of API TR P
PER15K.
Introduction
S
Subsea Wellhead and Christm
mas Tree equip
pment rated up
p to 15000 psi ccan be designeed using methoods recommendded in API
117D. However, this standard
d does not prov
vide guidance for equipmennt rated at presssures more thhan 15000 psi. Given the
ccurrent trends in
i the industry, fields are bein
ng explored wh
hich require eqquipment rated above 15000 ppsi.
The design methods given
n in API 17D refer the desig
gn methods off API 6A whicch are valid upp to working prressures of
220000 psi. The ASME BPVC
C Section VIII, Div. 2 and Div
v. 3 provide deesign methods for high pressuure vessels. Thhese design
m
methods can bee used for desiigning the equ
uipment; howev
ver the design must meet thee API design aallowable limitts, material
aand test requireements. ASME
E BPVC has its own design alllowables, mateerial and test reequirements w
which are to be used along
w
with the design
n methods outliined in the ASM
ME codes. Butt since they aree different from
m the requirem
ments put forth by the API
ddesign codes, a design metho
od combing thee ASME design
n techniques w
with API materrial and test requirements whhich satisfy
bboth the codes has been suggeested in this paaper.
B
Background
T
The ASME BP
PVC was the reesult of a committee setup by ASME in 19911 for purposse of formulatiing standard ruules for the
cconstruction off steam boilers and other presssure vessels. This
T code is foormulated for ppressure vessells in the nucleaar industry,
aand designing storage and transportation
t
tanks. The AP
PI 17D was fformulated forr standardizatioon of subsea production

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systems. Since API 17D code was specifically formulated for the subsea equipment it will be mandatory to suffice the API
material requirements, design allowables and test requirements.
The industry (API/AWHEM) has a long and established history in the development of new standards and procedures for
equipment rated at or above 15000 psi. As described by Payne, M., 2010, the original 15000 psi Wellhead specifications were
developed in 1952. The first 20000 psi Wellhead systems were developed in 1972, quickly followed by 30000 psi Wellhead
systems in 1974. These systems have been successfully deployed both in land and platform based fields in the Gulf of
Mexico and North Sea.
In the years from 1960 to 1990, subsea wells up to a working pressure of 5000 psi at water depth of 2000 ft were being
explored. In the 1990s the working pressure increased to 10000 psi at water depth of 3000 ft. From 2000 to 2011, the subsea
wells up to 15000 psi at water depth of 8000 ft were explored. The trend of the industry is moving towards wells being
explored at 20000 psi at around 10000 ft water depth. These wells require the high pressure high temperature rated equipment
for oil production. This establishes a need for design methods appropriate for higher pressure and temperature rated subsea
production equipment.
The ASME and API codes differ in the material, hydrostatic test, and NDE requirements in particular. The standard
hydrostatic test requirement per API 17D is 1.5 times the rated working pressure whereas in ASME BPVC Sec. VIII, Div. 2,
the hydrotest requirement is 1.43 times the working pressure. Additionally, the hydrostatic test pressure in ASME varies
between Divisions and has also fluctuated over time due to experiences of the ASME community. The material requirements
to satisfy various codes or standards are also not common or aligned. The different code specific material requirements are
provided in API 6A sec. 5, ASME BPVC Section VIII, Div. 2, Part 3 and Div. 3, Part KM. The primary choice of materials
for these design recommendations will be based on the limitation of API 6A, sec. 5. Specific guidance is provided in the
paper in order to generate a conservative utilization of ASME methods with API materials. These approaches are based upon
the normalization of the hydrostatic test pressures across the various codes. Finally, the NDE requirements in ASME can
allow for larger flaw sizes as compared to the API allowable limits.
Design Methods
Components or assemblies classified as pressure containing parts per API 17D will be evaluated by the following techniques.
In addition, equipment not defined as pressure containing but which experience a pressure greater than their working pressure
(e.g. tubing hangers) during testing before deployment in the field will be designed by these methods. These design methods
include a) linear and elastic-plastic protection against plastic collapse; b) linear and elastic-plastic protection against local
collapse; c) protection against cyclic loading and d) closure and critical bolting design. For protection against collapse from
buckling, the design methodology as suggested in ASME Section VIII, Div.2, 5.4 is recommended.
To ensure that all modes of failure are addressed, three load cases should be considered. A hydrostatic load case with test
pressure value of at least 1.5 times of the rated working pressure shall be considered per API 17D requirements. Additionally,
a working load case with appropriate load scenarios as given by the design code used for calculations is addressed. A
reference table is supplied in ASME BPVC Section VIII, Div.2 Table 5.1. Lastly, a maximum load case for each component
or assembly is evaluated for stress and structural stability. Along with each of the three load cases listed, each part must take
into consideration any fatigue effects on the design. If a part falls under the designation of heavy section bodies (R/t < 4, or
the ratio of inner radius to thickness), special requirements are outlined under the respective design methods. Worst material
tolerance conditions shall be used when evaluating structural capacities. To check for proper functionality of the equipment,
the deflection of systems under load must be accounted for during the calculation of capacity. As consistent with API, there
shall be no de-rating of material strengths for equipment in use up to 250F. For service temperatures above 250F, the material
strength should be de-rated per the factors in API 6A, Annex G.
Protection against Plastic Collapse
This design method addresses general plastic collapse in equipment because of gross distortion across its membrane due
to applied loads. This failure mode can be analyzed using both linear methods and elastic-plastic analysis methods.
Linear Methods
The linear elastic methods include stress analysis which can use handbook solution or other industry accepted methods as
long as these solutions represent the component geometry and loading conditions appropriately. Otherwise, numerical
analysis techniques such as the finite element method shall be used to determine the stresses in equipment. The calculation of
stresses will be based upon the Stress-Intensity equation based on Tresca Yield Surface and Maximum Shear Stress Theory.
Hydrostatic test design allowable stress values will be based on API 6A section 4.3.3.2 and/or 4.3.3.3. Hydrostatic test
design allowable stress values can also be based on ASME, Section VIII, Div. 2, section 4.1.6.2. Working load design

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allowable stress values will be based on API 6A, section 4.3.3.2. Working load design allowable stress values can also be
based on ASME, Section VIII, Div. 2, section 4.1.6.1.
If appropriate, in vessels which are R/t 4, the classification of stress can be performed based on ASME, Section VIII,
Div. 2, 5.2.2.2 and Figure 5.1, the Hopper Diagram. In vessels which are R/t < 4, the classification of stress should not be
used. Stresses may still be linearized, but all results should be considered as primary membrane stresses. If stress
linearization is used, the peak stress intensity derived through calculations shall not be allowed to exceed yield strength for
more than 5% of the section thickness (path distance). This recommendation is based on ASME, Section VIII, Div. 2, 5.2.1.3.
This ensures that the stress distribution through the section of the material is not so extreme as to cause local failure in a
portion of the section before full section failure might occur. Finally, the stress linearization procedures should be aligned
with ASME, Section VIII, Div. 2, Annex 5.A.
Generally the analyst must follow the requirements of ASME BPVC Section VIII Div. 2, Part 5, with the exception that
stress intensity shall be used instead of equivalent stress. Although, ASME BPVC Section VIII, Div.2, Part 5 calculates
stresses through equivalent stress equations (von Mises Stress), it is recommended to continue to use Stress Intensity to
satisfy API design requirements. Finite element methods should utilize small displacement theory. Thermal loading or
thermal results can be calculated separately or together with the structural model depending on the particulars of the problem.
ASME BPVC Section VIII, Annex 5.A established the preferred linearization procedure and path methodology. After
evaluating the component or assembly using linear elastic criteria for protection against general plastic collapse, further
evaluations may be addressed to protect against other failure modes.
Elastic Plastic Method
The Elastic Plastic Method can be used to evaluate components and interactions for protection against plastic collapse.
Generally, the analyst must follow the requirements of ASME BPVC Section VIII Div. 2, Part 5.
The von Mises yielding criterion and associated flow rules will be used. Material data will be reported as true stress true
strain. It is preferred to utilize actual material test data for the elastic-plastic methods, but a standard (and conservative)
estimation of material behavior is given in ASME Section VIII, Div. 2, Part 3. A load and resistance factor design (LRFD), as
documented in ASME BPVC Section VIII, Table 5.5 shall be used to determine if a structure is suitable for operation at a
specific load case. However, given that the typical hydrostatic test pressure established by ASME BPVC Section VIII, Part 8
is a minimum 1.43 times the design pressure (Maximum Allowable Working Pressure), this is in conflict with the standard
API hydrostatic test case. Therefore, it is recommended that the LRFD factors be increased by the ratio established below:
(1.50/1.43) = 1.049

Equation 1

where 1.50 is the API hydrostatic test multiplier, 1.43 is the ASME hydrostatic test multiplier, and the factor 1.049 is the
multiplier applied to increase the LRFD factors established by ASME. If the capacity of a component under engineering
evaluation is to be established using the elastic-plastic methods, the load case inputs shall be uniformly increased until the
solution is non-convergent due to unbounded deformation. The loads at which non-convergence are established are then
decreased by the appropriate LRFD factors and the value set in Equation 1.
As an example, if an internally pressurized vessel reached non-convergence at 60000 psi internal pressure. The design
pressure would be established by dividing the 60000 psi by 2.40 per ASME BPVC Section VIII, Table 5.5, Global Criteria 1
and by 1.049 (per Equation 1). This would establish the maximum allowable design pressure for the vessel at 23832 psi, and
an API hydrostatic test pressure of 35748 psi (calculated as 1.50 times the design pressure).
After evaluating the component or assembly for protection against collapse, further evaluations must be made to protect
against local collapse.
Protection against Local Collapse
This design method addresses local collapse in equipment in addition to protection against gross plastic collapse, as
described in the sections above. This failure mode can be analyzed using both linear methods and advanced elastic plastic
analysis methods. In general, the analyst must follow the requirements of ASME BPVC Section VIII Div. 2, 5.3 to address
protection against local collapse.
Linear Method
The linear elastic method is used in addition to the protection against plastic collapse, as described above, to guard against
local failure. ASME BPVC Section VIII Div. 2, 5.3.2 outlines this linear method.

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Elastic Plastic Method


The elastic plastic method is used along with the protection against plastic collapse to prevent local failure. ASME BPVC
Section VIII Div. 2, 5.3.3 describes the elastic plastic method used for protection against local failure. This method of
analysis is for a sequence of applied loads, based on the load cases discussed previously.
Protection against Cyclic Loading
After evaluation for general and local collapse, further evaluation maybe made to determine that a failure mode generated
by load fluctuations is not encountered. Examples of these failure modes are fracture formation or ratcheting of non integral
connections.
Components or assemblies having undergone evaluation to prevent general plastic collapse shall adhear to the following
criteria to protect against failure due to cyclic loading. ASME Section VIII Div. 2, 5.5 gives the fatigue analysis approach.
This is also the recommendation of API 17D, sec 5.1.3.1. ASME Section VIII Div. 3, KD-3 is a traditional fatigue analysis
approach based on stress life theory. It shall be used when a leak-before-burst mode of failure is established. ASME Section
VIII Div. 3, KD-4 is a fracture mechanics approach to design. It shall be used when a leak-before-burst mode of failure
cannot be shown to exist.
ASME Section VIII Div. 3, KD-340 is a traditional fatigue analysis approach based on strain life theory. It shall be used
when welds are present as structural supports. If the assembly has non-integral components in the structural load path that
could progressively distort through sequential load cycles, it must also be evaluated for protection against ratcheting failure.
Examples of this are screwed-on caps, screwed-in plugs, shear ring closures, and breech lock closures. Other examples in the
industry might include collet or clamp style connectors. Evaluation using the procedure outlined in ASME Section VIII Div.
3, KD-234 shall be followed.
Closure Bolting Design
Linear elastic methods outlined in API 17D and paralleled in ASME Section VIII, Div. 2, Part 5.7 are recommended for
closure bolting design. In analyzing the stress capacity of closure bolting, the maximum allowable tensile stress should be no
more than 83% of the materials yield based upon the root area of the thread (API 6A, 4.3.4). According to API 6A, bolting
stresses are to be determined using all loads acting on the closure area, including the pressure acting over the seal area, gasket
loads, and any other mechanical and thermal loads. The maximum allowable stress is also determined in all conditions such
as working pressure and hydrostatic conditions.
Both closure and critical bolting require a preload to a high percentage of the materials yield strength. Closure bolting of
all API 6BX and 17SS flanges is to be made up to approximately 67% of the bolts material yield stress. Other studs, nuts,
and bolting used on end connections of subsea equipment shall be made up to at least 50% of the bolts material yield stress
(API 6A, Annex D). Structural bolting is to be made up to the manufacturers written specification. Studs, nuts, and other
closure bolting for use in subsea service are often manufactured with corrosion inhibiting coatings or platings which can
dramatically affect the stud-to-nut friction factor. The manufacturer shall document the recommended make-up torque for
their fasteners.
High strength alloy steel bolts, studs, and nuts shall be evaluated for cyclic operation using elastic stress analysis and
equivalent stress amplitude loading established in ASME BPVC Section VIII, Div. 2, 5.5.3 and Annex 3.F. Stress
concentrations at the root of standard ASME B1.1 threads are not to be included in the fatigue evaluation. In cases where
loading is shared between components which have deformed, such as a metal gasket, the controlling stress for the fatigue
evaluation will be the effective total equivalent stress amplitude. This value is defined as one-half of the effective total
equivalent stress range calculated for each cycle in the loading histogram.
As a safe guard to prevent fatigue failure of threaded components, a limit shall be placed on equipment so that no regular
load encountered during working conditions causes a separation of the clamped joint of a threaded fastening system. An
exception to this would be extreme scenarios such as a drive off or impact event. Clamped faces which separate during
qualification of factory acceptance testing shall have their fasteners either replaces or re-tensioned, as per the manufacturers
written specifications.
Non-Destructive Examination
For non-destructive examination of the component, rules from API 17D, API 6A and API RP 6HT should be followed.

O
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E
Example ana
alysis of a AP
PI 6A, 4 in. 20
0 ksi, type 6B
BX Flange
T
To demonstratee the applicatio
on of the desig
gn methods outtlined above, aan API 6A, 4 inn. 20 ksi, typee 6BX flange iss analyzed.
T
The flange wass assumed to be made from F22,
F
low carbon
n alloy steel (22-1/4 Cr. 1 Moo.) with 75 ksi yield and 95 kksi ultimate
tensile strength
h. The bolts were
w
assumed to be made of high strengthh steel with 1105 ksi yield sstrength. The bolts were
aassumed to be preloaded at 67%
6
of the bo
olt yield streng
gth per the reccommendation in API 17D, sec. 5.1.3.5. A pressuretension-bending
g moment capaacity chart sim
milar to the one in API TR 6A
AF is generatedd using the dessign method off protection
aagainst plastic collapse by lin
near elastic as well as elasticc-plastic analyssis. Protection against cyclicc loading is dem
monstrated
bby evaluating the design cyclles for a set of load cases on the pressure-teension-bendingg moment charrt by both fatiggue as well
aas fracture mecchanics analysis. Temperaturee conditions weere ignored in the analyses baased on API TR
R 6AF proceduures.
P
Protection aga
ainst plastic co
ollapse
Finite element analysis (F
FEA) was cond
ducted using co
ommercial sofftware Abaqus 6.10.1. A threee dimensionall (3D), 180
ddegree model of
o the flange with
w 3D bolts and rigid botto
om surface waas used for botth linear and eelastic-plastic analysis as
sshown in Figurre 1. The gaskeet was not inclluded in the 3D
D model to avooid numerical instability cauusing prematuree failure of
thhe model and also because previously conducted linearr elastic methoods indicated tthat gasket grooove was not an area of
cconcern. The seerviceability off the gasket is determined
d
at the
t maximum working condiition, based onn contact stressees, and can
bbe validated by
y performance testing based on
o API 17D teest methods. A predetermined gasket load uusing axisymm
metric FEA
w
was applied in the model to simulate the gasket
g
for all an
nalyses perform
rmed. Two flannge failure critteria were considered for
aanalyses: flangee structural lim
mit and bolt stru
uctural limit.
Linear elasttic FEA for hy
ydrotest pressurre load case was evaluated foor the worst strress classificattion line (lineaarized path)
ffor membrane stress
s
intensity
y and membran
ne plus bending
g stress intensitty. The membrrane stress inteensity was limiited to 83%
oof yield strengtth and membraane plus bendiing was limited
d to yield strenngth. The maxximum structurral capacity off the flange
w
was determined
d to be 30 ksi limited by the hub-neck
h
area. The overall caapacity of the fflange was lim
mited by the bollts and was
226 ksi.
Elastic-plasstic FEA was conducted
c
usin
ng the same meshed
m
model. The true stresss - true strain curve for the flange was
ccalculated using
g the ASME BPVC
B
Section VIII,
V
Div.2 An
nnex. 3. D / Divv.3 KD-231.4.. Linear elasticc properties weere used for
thhe bolts. The internal
i
pressu
ure was determ
mined at which the model failled to convergged, which is ccalled the plasttic collapse
looad. LRFD off 2.4 from AS
SME Section VIII,
V
Div. 2, Table 5.5, Gloobal Criteria 11, was used aalong with the suggested
hhydrotest factorr of 1.049 (perr Equation 1) to
o determine th
he maximum alllowable workiing pressure ass 30 ksi. This iis observed
too be the same as linear elasticc analysis meth
hods.

Figure 1: 3-D
Dimensional 180 degree FEA Model
M
of the 4 in
n. 20 ksi API 6BX
X Flange with 3
3-Dimensional b
bolts and Rigid S
Surface
simulatting bottom flan
nge

To determiine the Pressu


ure-Tension-Beending Momen
nt (P-T-B) cappacity chart, tthe flange waas subjected too a known
ppressure & extternal tension load. The ben
nding momentt to fail the fl
flange either bby flange stressses or bolt str
tresses was
ddetermined for that particularr load case. Seeveral cases weere run and ressults were com
mpiled to determ
mine the P-T-B
B chart for
thhe flange. For elastic-plastic analysis, LRF
FD of 2.4 from ASME Sectioon VIII, Div. 2,, Table 5.5, Gllobal Criteria 11, was used
ffor all loads applied (Pressuree, Tension and
d Bending Mom
ment). Two chaarts have been presented in thhe paper. Figuure 2 shows

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the P-T-B chart for the overall capacity of the flange taking into account both flange and bolt structural limits, with both
elastic-plastic and linear elastic analysis methods. Figure 3 shows the P-T-B chart considering only the flange structural limit
for both elastic-plastic and linear elastic methods for comparison.

20

Bolt

Bolt

Flange
Structural

Flange
Structural

T=0 kips
T=200 kips

Bore Pressure, [ksi]

Flange
Structural

Flange
Structural

Bolt

Bolt

15

T=400 kips
T=600 kips

Bolt

10

T= External Tension
Load in kips

Bolt

Bolt

Flange
Structural

Bolt

Bolt

Bolt

Flange
Structural

Bolt

Bolt

Bolt

Bolt

0
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

Bending Moment, [ft-kips]


Figure 2: Overall Pressure-Tension-Bending Moment Capacity of the 4 in. 20K flange using linear elastic and elastic plastic analysis
methods considering both bolt and flange structural limits

20
T=0_LE
T=200_LE
T=400_LE
T=600_LE

Bore Pressure, [ksi]

15

T=0_EP
T=200_EP
T=400_EP
T=600_EP

10

T = External Tension Load in kips


LE = Linear Elastic Analysis
EP = Elastic-Plastic Analysis

0
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

Bending Moment, [ft-kips]


Figure 3: Pressure-Tension-Bending Moment Capacity of the 4 in. 20K flange to compare the linear elastic and elastic plastic
analysis methods considering only flange structural capacity

It is observed from Figure 2 that the capacity of the flange is limited by linear elastic analysis for all the load cases
considered. The chart is comparable to the API TR 6AF charts for the 4 in. 20 ksi 6BX type flange and shows slightly higher

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capacities since higher bolt preload was assumed. Only in the cases with no internal pressure and external bending moment
applied, the capacity observed is slightly less than that in API TR 6AF. In contrasting these two methodologies, API TR 6AF
considers an axisymmetric FEA model to determine the P-T-B chart for this flange. The bolts are evaluated using an
axisymmetric model, with the bolt stresses averaged for all 8 bolts. The results reported in Figure 2 use a 3D model to
examine the stresses in each of the bolts. With external bending applied, the outermost bolts reach the maximum allowable
stress before other bolts. This is the reason why the capacity observed is slightly less than in the API TR 6AF charts.
As seen in the Figure 3, the structural capacity of the flange is slightly higher in most cases when evaluated with the
elastic-plastic methods. Where there is external tension and low pressure, the linear elastic method gives higher capacity than
the elastic-plastic method.
Protection against Cyclic Loading
To demonstrate the design methods for cyclic loading the structural capacity of the flange was evaluated for a set of load
cases from the P-T-B chart generated for flange stress using linear elastic analysis. It was assumed that for one cycle, all the
loads applied after bolt preload, went from zero to the actual value and again went back to zero. For example, for a load case
of 20000 psi internal pressure, 600 kips external tension and 120 ft-kips external bending moment, one cycle of loading
would be zero loads to 20000 psi internal pressure, 600 kips external tension and 120 ft-kips external bending moment and
back to zero loads. Design cycles were calculated for these cases using fatigue analysis and fracture mechanics analysis per
ASME BPVC Section VIII, Div 3.
The flange under consideration is assumed to be made from F22, low carbon alloy steel (2-1/4 Cr. 1 Mo.) with 75000 psi
yield strength and 95000 psi ultimate tensile strength. Published material properties have been used to determine the design
cycles for both fatigue and fracture mechanics analysis.
Fatigue Analysis
Fatigue analysis was conducted per ASME BPVC Section VIII Div.3, KD-3. Since ASME BPVC Section VIII Div.3,
Table KD-320.1, provides material fatigue curve for low carbon alloy steel for UTS 90000 psi, this curve was used for
fatigue analysis. Half of the maximum stress intensity from the linear stress analysis results was used for the equivalent stress
amplitude and the number of design cycles was calculated. The allowable cycles were taken as 1/10th of the number of cycles
calculated using formulation from Div.3. Figure 4 shows the design cycles for the extreme load cases considered.
The reason for lower cycles at zero pressure cases is the contribution of hoop stress at high pressure which shifts the
fatigue evaluation zone.
20
T=0_LE
T=200_LE

5572 cycles

5654 cycles

T=400_LE
T=600_LE

Bore Pressure, [ksi]

15

T=0_EP
T=200_EP
T=400_EP
T=600_EP

10

3884 cycles

3016 cycles

0
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

Bending Moment, [ft-kips]


Figure 4: Design cycles using fatigue analysis for identified load cases of the pressure-tension-bending moment capacity chart
generated using linear elastic analysis

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Fracture Mechanics Analysis


Fracture mechanics analysis was conducted per ASME BPVC Section VIII Div.3, KD-4. For material properties, the
fracture toughness value of 138 ksi.in. was used from the published report by Young, K., 2008, which corresponds to
Seawater with Cathodic Protection environment and was determined per ASME BPVC Section VIII Div.3, by CTOD (Crack
Tip Opening Displacement) method. Recommended crack growth rate factors for steel in marine environment with cathodic
protection were used from BS7910 as listed below in form of Paris law equation:

= 5.22 10 (K ksi. in. )

Equation 2

For the crack orientation, both circumferential and axial crack orientations were considered. For the load cases identified,
the flange is loaded in such a way that the stresses are predominantly axial stresses and hence a circumferentially orientated
crack on the inner surface that has a radial depth yielded the most conservative results. This places the largest initial crack
perpendicular to the worst loaded plane, and initializes crack propagation at the highest stress level in that plane. The crack
was assumed to be semielliptical in shape with ratio of the depth to surface length of 1:3 per ASME BPVC Section VIII,
Div.3, paragraph KD-411. This initial flaw is placed along the failure path determined from the structural linear elastic
analyses. Initial flaw length of 3/16 in. was used for the analyses. Crack face pressure was included in the evaluations when
internal pressure was considered. Commercial software SIGNAL Fitness-For-Service version 3.0 by Quest Reliability was
used for the analysis. The allowable final crack depth criteria per ASME BPVC Section VIII, Div.3, paragraph KD-412 was
used to determine the allowable cycles for a particular load case. Figure 5 below shows the allowable design cycles using
fracture mechanics analysis for the load cases considered.
20
T=0_LE
T=200_LE

4109 cycles

4854 cycles

T=400_LE
T=600_LE

Bore Pressure, [ksi]

15

T=0_EP
T=200_EP
T=400_EP
T=600_EP

10

8027 cycles

9448 cycles

0
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

Bending Moment, [ft-kips]


Figure 5: Design cycles using fracture mechanics analysis for extreme load cases of the pressure-tension-bending moment capacity
chart generated using linear elastic analysis

Application
Two primary design methods have been presented and contrasted above, with both of the results approximating each other.
During writing the paper and analyzing the example flange, a senior experienced analyst was used for approximately two
months for analyzing, post-processing, verification and documentation. During this period, approximately 5 days were spent
on the linear elastic and fatigue portion of the work. Approximately 35 days were spent on the elastic-plastic and fracture
mechanics portion of the work. With both methods providing approximately similar results in both capacity and cycle life,
the primary difference was a 600% increase in manpower needed to perform the elastic-plastic and fracture mechanics
analysis. Even with the analysts experience, the elastic-plastic analysis results were often subjected to numerical instability,
boundary condition influences, and interpretation of a point of non-convergence due to unbounded deformation.
These results must be accounted for during the planning of a work package where elastic-plastic and fracture mechanics
analysis is required or anticipated. Staffing needs and experience levels must be planned, and the results/capacities must be
reviewed. With the proliferation of FEA software and the easy-to-use programs, the generation of results has become trivial.

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However, the establishment of the problem (boundary condition) and the interpretation of the results (non-convergence) are
still extremely difficult. The burden of establishing, if a component is safe, shifts from the design engineer to the analyst,
resulting in a historic reversal of roles.
Given the geometries associated with pressure containing equipment rated for greater than 15000 psi, the classification
and treatment of stress needs to be carefully evaluated. In many cases, the elastic-plastic methods presented above are the
only appropriate tool to use for the definition of component capacity. This is due to the fact that for heavy walled vessels,
especially around local or discontinuous regions, stress linearization is not appropriate. However, it should also be noted that
for the evaluation of more standard load cases (eg, pressure-tension-bending); the linear-elastic methods provide equally
conservative results. Both methods can be used together to provide efficient answers, with linear-elastic methods being used
initially and elastic-plastic methods used to justify the linear-elastic assumptions.
Reviewing fatigue and fracture mechanics analysis for cyclic loading, both methods provide approximately equal results
for allowable design cycles. The primary contrast between the methods lies in the material data requirements. Fracture
mechanics requires more material testing and characterization, even between the same material batches. While fatigue
analysis relies on more generally accepted material assumptions with larger safety factors. Both methods are well posed to
analyze ductile materials which are required for pressure containing subsea equipment.
Conclusions
Several design analysis methods are given in this paper to verify the capacity of components or assemblies under
consideration including protection against plastic collapse, protection against local collapse, and protection against cyclic
loading. An approach to closure bolting is also presented. Both linear elastic and elastic plastic methods are given for the
protection against local and plastic collapse. Using these methodologies, an example design analysis was presented for a 4 in.
20 ksi API 6BX flange.
The linear elastic and elastic-plastic method of analyzing the 4 in. 20 ksi API flange gave the same pressure rating when
only internal pressure was applied. The overall capacity of the flange for hydrostatic test condition is limited by bolt which is
analyzed using linear elastic methods. When external loads are used to determine the combined structural pressure-tensionbending moment capacity of the flange, it was observed that the linear elastic methods gave conservative results in all cases.
Examining only the capacity of the flange; allowing the bolt stresses to exceed allowables; there are cases where elasticplastic methods gave lower capacity than the linear elastic methods. The overall capacity chart reported is comparable to the
API TR 6AF chart and verifies the results obtained.
Fatigue and fracture mechanics analysis for cyclic loading is reported for the identified load cases on the pressure-tensionbending moment chart. The reported cycles show that the flange design has a cyclic loading capacity which far exceeds the
standard cycle requirements for subsea equipment.
Limitations of Work
The work and results presented in this paper are not meant to provide a definitive solution to building equipment for
working pressures over 15000 psi. The purpose of this paper is to show that it is possible to combine the methods of both API
17D and ASME BPVC to achieve working pressures above 15000 psi since there is not a published opinion. The intention of
this work is to show that existing API methods are adequate for working pressures up to 25000 psi, based on a 1.5*WP
hydrotest. The recommendations presented in this paper are not meant to act as a new standard and in-depth analysis should
be performed on each component or assembly to verify that the proper requirements are met.
Acknowledgements
We would like to specially thank Stuart Harbert and Paul Bunch from Cameron International Corp. for their valuable input
regarding analysis using these design methods. An special thanks to Mike Payne from BP for all his teaching and support.
Nomenclature
API =American Petroleum Institute
ASME=American Society of Mechanical Engineers
AWHEM=Association of American Wellhead Equipment Manufactures
BPVC=Boiler and Pressure Vessels Code
CTOD=Crack Tip Opening Displacement
FEA =Finite Element Analysis
LRFD =Load and Resistance Factor Design
NDE =Non-Destructive Examination
PER =Pressures Exceeding a Rating of
TR = Technical Report

10

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References
American Petroleum Institute, Recommended Practice 6HT, 2005, Heat Treatment and Testing of Large Cross Section and Critical Section
Components, 1st Edition
American Petroleum Institute, Specification 17D, 2011, Design and Operation of Subsea Production Systems Subsea Wellhead and Tree
Equipment, 2nd Edition
American Petroleum Institute, Specification 6A, 2010, Specification for Wellhead and Christmas Tree Equipment, 20th Edition
American Petroleum Institute, Technical Report 6AF, 2008, Technical Report on Capabilities of API Flanges Under Combinations of
Load, 3rd Edition
American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, 2010, Alternative Rules for Construction of Pressure Vessels,
Section VIII, Div. 2
American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, 2010, Alternative Rules of Construction of High Pressure
Vessel, Section VIII, Div. 3
British Standards Institution, 2005, Guide to methods for assessing the acceptability of flaws in metallic structures, BS 7910
Payne, M., 2010, HP/HT Challenges, Journal of Petroleum Technology, pg. 70, April 2010 Edition
Young, K., 2008, Characterizing Material Performance for Design of High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) Equipment in
Accordance With API RP 6HP Practices, Technology Assessment & Research Program, BOEMRE.