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Basics of Pipe Stress

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.

1. Introduction:

various conditions of pressure and temperature. The piping engineer

has to design the systems to ensure reliability and safety

throughout designed plant life. The piping systems are subjected to

combined effects of fluid internal pressure, its own weight and

restrained thermal expansion. The elevated temperature also affects

the pipe strength adversely. Therefore the task of the engineer is:

pressure with safety.

points of anchorage to absorb its thermal expansion

exceeding allowable material stress levels, also reacting

and moments at the points of anchorage must be kept below

limits.

between

without

thrusts

certain

iii) To limit the additional stresses due to the dead weight of the

piping by providing suitable supporting system- effective for cold

as well as hot conditions.

sag and stresses in piping system.

b)

Incorporating

sufficient

flexibility

to

accommodate stress resulting from changes in pipe

length due to thermal effects and movement of the

connection at the ends of the pipe.

forces and movements on equipment such as pumps and

tanks or on other connection and support points.

necessary calculations to ascertain that the various requirements due

to internal pressure, thermal expansion and external weight are

satisfied. Various computer packages are available in the market,

which perform the required rigorous analysis. These analyses are

basically static analyses. There are situations where stresses are

introduced into the piping systems due to dynamic loading situations

like reciprocating compressor vibration, safety valve discharge etc.

However it is the static analysis which most of the pipe stress

engineers perform and are acquainted with. Now the present day

computer packages that are being used (CEASAR-II, CAEPIPE, PIPEPLUS

etc.) are quite comprehensive and if the piping configuration and

pipe data are fed properly, comprehensive analysis are done through

the computer packages. This has improved pipe stress analysis job

productivity immensely. However sometimes this has led to a decline

in the knowledge about the basics of pipe stress analysis especially

in situation where the stress analysis engineer after acquiring some

sort of skill in the use of the analysis package does not make effort

to learn about the basics of pipe stress. Some of the ideas about the

basics of pipe stress have been enumerated herein.

a) Brittle fracture

deformations

certain cases steels sometimes rupture without prior evidence of

distress. Such brittle failures are accompanied by but little plastic

deformation, and the energy required to propagate the fracture

appears to be quite low.

The three conditions, which control this tendency for steel to behave

in a brittle fashion, include

internal flows or sharp edges in geometry

which the steel behaves in a predominantly ductile manner and below

which it behaves in a predominantly brittle maner. Steel with high

transition temperature is more likely to behave in a brittle manner

during fabrication or in service. It follows that a steel with low

transition temperature is more likely to behave in a ductile manner

and therefore, steel with low transition temperature are generally

preferred for service involving severe stress concentrations, impact

loading, low temperature or combination of the three.

stress is removed. Plastic deformation is non-reversible. When the

stress is removed plastic strain approximately remains unaltered. A

look at the stress strain diagram of say a carbon steel material will

clarify the concepts. However there is another kind of plastic

deformation called creep where the deformation increases with time at

constant stress. At certain temperature levels creep, which is the

term, used to describe this progressive deformation may occur in

metals even at stress below the short time yield strength or

proportional limit. Thus the yield strength or proportional limit,

which are determined by short time tensile tests do not represent

satisfactory criteria for the design of piping systems over the

entire temperature range CREEP RATE or CREEP LIMIT determination

through a large number of long time tensile test of elevated

temperature becomes necessary.

Failure has occurred when the service become more severe than the

conditions for which the piping was originally designed. Thermal or

mechanical fatigue is usually the most common causes of failures in

high temperature piping systems. Severe localized mechanical stress

have caused or contributed to failures.

temperatures of pipeline. Thermal expansion and contraction occur in

all metal components by the change in temperature. Over a long period

this results in thermal fatigue. Hence for best metallurgical

conditions, the temperature of the high temperature piping systems

should be maintained continuously and uniformly as far as possible.

preventing free movement or other conditions.

Continued to

Continued from

BASICS OF PIPE STRESS - 1

From stress strain diagram of a material like carbon steel we know

about yield strength as also ultimate tensile strength. For our

design purpose and allowable stress value is fixed which is based on

a certain factor of safety over the yield strength or ultimate

tensile strength. For higher temperature applications creep strength

also comes in picture. Various codes detail the allowable stress

basis. The basis adopted in ANSI B31.3 and IBR are described herein.

These two codes have the maximum usage among the Indian pipe stress

Engineers for Petrochemical/ Refinery.

3.1 Allowable stress as per ACSI:

As per Petroleum refinery piping code ANSI B31.3 the basic allowable

stress values are the min. of the following values.

a) 1/3 of the minimum tensile strength at room temp.

b) 1/3 of tensile strength of design temp.

c) 2/3 of Min. yield strength of room temp.

d) 2/3 of Min. yield strength at design temp.

e) 100% of average stress for creep rate of O/D 1% per 1000

hrs.

calculated as shown below:

is the lower of the following values:

Et = 1.5 or R = 2.7

ii) For temperatures above 454 Deg.C the allowable stress is lower of

the

Values:

Et = 1.5 or Sr = 1.5

Where

R = Min. tensile strength of the steel at room temp.

Et = Yield point (02% proof stress) at the temp.

Sr = Average stress to produce rupture in 100,000 hrs. at a temp.

and in

No case more than 1.33 times the lowest stress to produce rupture

at temp.

Sc = Average stress to produce an elongation of 1% creep in

100,000 hrs. All these values have been made available

range in which plastic flow does not occur by self-spring

during several initial cycles even if the calculation value

exceeds the yield point, and thereafter-steady respective

stress is applied. Hence repture in a piping system may be

due to low cycle fatigue. It is well known that fatigue

strength usually depends upon the mean stress and the stress

amplitude. The mean stress does not always become zero if

self spring takes place in piping system but in the ANSI

code, the value of the mean stress is disregarded while the

algebraic difference between the maximum and the minimum

stress namely only the stress range SA is employed as the

criterion of the strength against fatigue rupture.

without producing flow neither in the cold nor in the hot

condition was first proposed by ARC Mark as follows:

automatically limit itself to the yield strength or 8/5

of Sc because Sc is limited to 5/8th of Y.S. therefore, Ye

= 1.6 Sc.

the stress in the pipe material shall itself to the

rupture strength i.e. 8/5th

Sh = 1.6 Sh.

as 1.25f(Sc + Sh) which includes all stresses i.e.

expansion stress, pressure stress, hot stresses and

any other stresses inducted by external loads such as

wind and earthquake, f is the stress range reduction

factor for cyclic conditions as given below:

stress alone we subtract the stresses inducted by

pressure stress and weight stress which itself cannot

exceed sh.

VALUES OF FACTOR f

14,000 and less 0.9

22,000 and less 0.8

45,000 and less 0.7

100,000 and less 0.6

250,000 and less 0.5

significant stresses created by the diversity of loading

to which a piping system is subjected. They are:

i) Stress due to the thermal expansion of the line.

ii) The longitudinal stresses due to internal or external

pressure.

iii) The bending stress created by the weight of the pipe

and its insulation, the internal fluid, fittings,

valves and external loading such as wind,

earthquake etc.

stresses in single plane systems, and bending and

maximum stress due to thermal, changes solely is called

expansion stress SE. This stress must be within the

allowable stress range SA.

SE = Sb2 + 4St2

Mt

= torsional movement

pressure:

shall be expressed as P (Ai / Am)

Where Ai is inside cross sectional area of pipe, Am is

the metal area, P is the pressure.

etc. as given by SW = M/Z, Where M is bending moment

created by the pipe and other fittings, Z is the section

modules of the pipe.

piping are permanently sustained. They do not participate

in stress reductions due to relaxation and are excluded

from the comparison of which as the latter has been

adjusted to allow for them with the following provision.

flexibility than predicted by ordinary beam theory.

Flexibility factor of a fitting is actually the ratio of

rotation per unit length of the fitting in question under

certain value of moment to the rotation of a straight

pipe of same nominal diameter and schedule and under

identical value of moment. The pipefitting item, which

shows substantial flexibility, is a pipe elbow/bend.

rigid arm to which a force is applied. The outer fibers

of the bend/elbow will be under tension and the inner

fibers will be under compression. Due to shape of bend

both tension and compression will have component in the

same direction creating distortion/slottening of bend.

This leads to higher flexibility of the end as there is

some decrease in moment of inertia due to distortion from

circular to elliptical shape and also due to fact that

elongate less and the inner layer fibers which are under

compression has to contract less to accommodate the same

angular rotation leading to higher flexibility. Piping

component

used

in

piping

system

has

notches/discontinuities in the piping system, which acts

as stress raisers. For example a fabricated tee branch.

The concept of stress intensification comes from this and

is defined as the ratio of the bending moment producing

fatigue failure in a given number of cycles in straight

pipe of nominal dimensions to that producing failure in

the same number of cycles for the part under

consideration. Both flexibility factor and stress

intensification factors have been described in PROCESS

PIPING CODE(ASME B31.3) and is also included in the

various pipe stress analysis computer programmes.

various type of loading such as pressure, weight, thermal

etc. and it is reviewed whether the stresses are within

allowable limits. However in lot of cases pipe stress

analysis becomes critical and rather complicated because

it is not only stress of piping but the nozzle loading of

the various equipment which has to be kept within

allowable limits.

For

rotating

equipments

compressors centrifugal pumps,

like

steam

turbines,

guidelines regarding the allowable nozzle loading. For

the analysis of these piping connected with various

rotating equipment, vendor also provide information

regarding nozzle movements and allowable loads. It is the

responsibility of the equipment engineer to ensure that

the allowable loads as agreed by vendors are always equal

code. Various computer packages now have equipment nozzle

check features. However the pipe stress engineers are

advised to study the specific applicable codes also as

this will give them a further insight for solving

specific problems related to equipment nozzle loading.

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