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# MECHANICAL ENGINEERING DESIGN

## PRESSURE VESSEL DESIGN MODELS FOR CYLINDERS:

1. Thick-walled Cylinders
2. Thin-walled Cylinders

THICK-WALL THEORY

• Thick-wall theory is developed from the Theory of Elasticity which yields the state of
stress as a continuous function of radius over the pressure vessel wall. The state of
stress is defined relative to a convenient cylindrical coordinate system:

1. σ t — Tangential Stress
2. σ r — Radial Stress
3. σ l — Longitudinal Stress

• Stresses in a cylindrical pressure vessel depend upon the ratio of the inner radius to
the outer radius ( ro / ri ) rather than the size of the cylinder.
• Principal Stresses ( σ 1 , σ 2 , σ 3 )

## 1. Determined without computation of Mohr’s Circle;

2. Equivalent to cylindrical stresses ( σ t , σ r , σ l )

## Cylinder under Pressure

Consider a cylinder, with capped ends, subjected to an internal pressure, pi, and an
external pressure, po,

ri
σr
σl
σt pi

σl σ
r σt
ro
po

FIGURE T4-15-1

Text Eq. refers to Mechanical Engineering Design, 7th edition text by Joseph Edward Shigley, Charles
R. Mischke and Richard G. Budynas; equations and figures with the prefix T refer to the present tutorial.
The cylinder geometry is defined by the inside radius, ri , the outside radius, ro , and the
cylinder length, l. In general, the stresses in the cylindrical pressure vessel ( σ t , σ r , σ l )
can be computed at any radial coordinate value, r, within the wall thickness bounded by
ri and ro , and will be characterized by the ratio of radii, ζ = ro / ri . These cylindrical
stresses represent the principal stresses and can be computed directly using Eq. 4-50 and
4-52. Thus we do not need to use Mohr’s circle to assess the principal stresses.

Tangential Stress:

## pi ri2 − po ro2 − ri2 ro2 ( po − pi ) / r 2

σt = for ri ≤ r ≤ ro (Text Eq. 4-50)
ro2 − ri2

## pi ri2 − po ro2 + ri2 ro2 ( po − pi ) / r 2

σr = for ri ≤ r ≤ ro (Text Eq. 4-50)
ro2 − ri2

Longitudinal Stress:

• Applicable to cases where the cylinder carries the longitudinal load, such as
capped ends.
• Only valid far away from end caps where bending, nonlinearities and stress
concentrations are not significant.

pi ri2 − po ro2
σl = for ri ≤ r ≤ ro (Modified Text Eq. 4-52)
ro2 − ri2

## 1. Internal Pressure Only ( p o = 0 )

2. External Pressure Only ( p i = 0 )

## • Only one case to consider — the critical section which exists at r = ri .

• Substituting p o = 0 into Eqs. (4-50) and incorporating ζ = ro / ri , the
largest value of each stress component is found at the inner surface:

ro2 + ri2 ζ 2 +1
σ t (r = ri ) = σ t ,max = pi 2 2 = pi 2 = pi Cti (T-1)
ro − ri ζ −1

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ζ 2 + 1 ro2 + ri 2
where Cti = 2 = is a function of cylinder geometry only.
ζ − 1 ro2 − ri 2
σ r (r = ri ) = σ r ,max = − pi Natural Boundary Condition (T-2)

## pi Cli Capped Ends (T-3a)

σl =
0 Uncapped Ends (T-3b)

1
where Cli = .
ζ −1
2

## • The critical section is identified by considering the state of stress at two

points on the cylinder: r = ri and r = ro. Substituting pi = 0 into Text
Eqs. (4-50) for each case:

## r = ri σ r (r = ri ) = 0 Natural Boundary Condition (T-4a)

2ro2 2ζ 2
σ t (r = ri ) = σ t ,max = − po = − p o = − poCto (T-4b)
ro2 − ri2 ζ 2 −1

2ζ 2 2ro2
where, Cto = = .
ζ 2 − 1 ro2 − ri 2
r = ro σ r (r = ro ) = σ r ,max = − po Natural Boundary Condition (T-5a)

ro2 + ri2 ζ 2 +1
σ t (r = ro ) = − po = − po = − poCti (T-5b)
ro2 − ri2 ζ 2 −1

## • Longitudinal stress for a closed cylinder now depends upon external

pressure and radius while that of an open-ended cylinder remains zero:

## − poClo Capped Ends (T-6a)

σl =
0 Uncapped Ends (T-6b)

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ζ2
where Clo = .
ζ 2 −1

## Problem Statement: Consider a cylinder subjected to an external pressure of

150 MPa and an internal pressure of zero. The cylinder has a 25 mm ID and a 50
mm OD, respectively. Assume the cylinder is capped.

Find:
1. the state of stress ( σ r , σ t , σ l ) at the inner and outer cylinder
surfaces;
2. the Mohr’s Circle plot for the inside and outside cylinder surfaces;
3. the critical section based upon the estimate of τ max .

Solution Methodology:
Since we have an external pressure case, we need to compute the state of
stress ( σ r , σ t , σ l ) at both the inside and outside radius in order to determine
the critical section.
1. As the cylinder is closed and exposed to external pressure only,
Eq. (T-6a) may be applied to calculate the longitudinal stress
developed. This result represents the average stress across the wall
of the pressure vessel and thus may be used for both the inner and
2. Assess the radial and tangential stresses using Eqs. (T-4) and (T-5)
for the inner and outer radii, respectively.
3. Assess the principal stresses for the inner and outer radii based
upon the magnitudes of ( σ r , σ t , σ l ) at each radius.
4. Use the principal stresses to calculate the maximum shear stress at
5. Draw Mohr’s Circle for both states of stress and determine which
provides the critical section.

Solution:

## 1. Longitudinal Stress Calculation:

OD 50 mm ID 25 mm
ro = = = 25 mm ; ri = = = 12.5 mm
2 2 2 2

## Compute the radius ratio, ζ

ro 25 mm
ζ = = = 2.0
ri 12.5 mm

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Then,
ζ2 (2) 2
Clo = = = 1.3333 mm 2
ζ − 1 (2) − 1
2 2

ζ2
σ l (r = ri ) = σ l (r = ro ) = − po 2 = − poClo = (−150MPa)(1.3333 mm 2 )
ζ −1
σ l = −200 MPa

## Inner Radius (r = ri)

2ζ 2 2(2) 2
Cto = 2 = = 2.6667
ζ − 1 (2) 2 − 1
2ro2
σ t (r = ri ) = σ t ,max = − po 2 2 = − poCto = (−150 MPa)(2.6667)
ro − ri
σt (r = ri ) = −400 MPa Compressive

## Outer Radius (r = ro)

ζ 2 + 1 (2)2 + 1
Cti = = = 1.6667
ζ 2 − 1 (2) 2 − 1
ro2 + ri 2
σ t (r = ro ) = σ t ,min = − po = − poCti = (−150 MPa)(1.6667)
ro2 − ri 2

## σ 1 = σ r = 0 MPa σ 1 = σ r = −150 MPa

σ 2 = σ l = −200 MPa σ 2 = σ l = −200 MPa
σ 3 = σ t = −400 MPa σ 3 = σ t = −250 MPa

## 4. Maximum Shear Stress Calculations:

σ 1 − σ 3 0 − (−400)
Inner Radius (r = ri ) τ max (r = ri ) = = = 200 MPa
2 2

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σ 1 − σ 3 (−150) − (−250)
Outer Radius (r = ro ) τ max (r = ro ) = = = 50 MPa
2 2

5. Mohr’s Circles:

Inner Radius (r = ri )
τ
FIGURE T4-15-2
τ max = 200 MPa

σ 1 = 0 MPa
σ
σ 3 = -400 MPa

σ 2 = -200 MPa

Outer Radius (r = ro )
τ
FIGURE T4-15-3

• τmax = 50 MPa

σ 2 = -200 MPa

Critical Section

## τ max ( r = ri ) = 200 MPa ⇐ Critical Section is at Inside Radius!

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THIN-WALL THEORY

• Thin-wall theory is developed from a Strength of Materials solution which yields the
state of stress as an average over the pressure vessel wall.
• Use restricted by wall thickness-to-radius ratio:
t 1
 According to theory, Thin-wall Theory is justified for ≤
r 20
t 1
 In practice, typically use a less conservative rule, ≤
r 10

## 1. Hoop Stress, σ t , assumed to be uniform across wall thickness.

2. Radial Stress is insignificant compared to tangential stress, thus, σ r  0.
3. Longitudinal Stress, σ l
S Exists for cylinders with capped ends;
S Assumed to be uniformly distributed across wall thickness;
S This approximation for the longitudinal stress is only valid far away
from the end-caps.

## 4. These cylindrical stresses (σ t , σ r , σ l ) are principal stresses (σ t , σ r , σ l ) which

can be determined without computation of Mohr’s circle plot.

## • Analysis of Cylinder Section

FIGURE T4-15-4

di

t
FV

FHoop FHoop
Pressure Acting over
Projected Vertical Area

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The internal pressure exerts a vertical force, FV, on the cylinder wall which is
balanced by the tangential hoop stress, FHoop.

## FV = pA proj = p{( d i )(1)} = pd i

FHoop = σ t Astressed = σ t {(t )(1)} = σ t t

¦ Fy = 0 = FV − 2 FHoop = pd i − 2σ t t

## Solving for the tangential stress,

pd i
σt = Hoop Stress (Text Eq. 4-53)
2t
• Comparison of state of stress for cylinder under internal pressure verses external
pressure:
Internal Pressure Only
pdi
σt = Hoop Stress
2t
σr = 0 By Definition
pdi σ t
σl = = Capped Case (Text Eq.4-55)
4t 2

## External Pressure Only

pd o
σt = Hoop Stress
2t
σr = 0 By Definition
pd o σ t
σl = = Capped Case
4t 2

## Problem Statement: Repeat Example T1.1 using the Thin-wall Theory

(po = 150 MPa, pi = 0, ID = 25 mm, OD = 50 mm).

Find: The percent difference of the maximum shear stress estimates found using
the Thick-wall and Thin-wall Theories.

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Solution Methodology:

## 1. Check t/r ratio to determine if Thin-wall Theory is applicable.

2. Use the Thin-wall Theory to compute the state of stress
3. Identify the principal stresses based upon the stress magnitudes.
4. Use the principal stresses to assess the maximum shear stress.
5. Calculate the percent difference between the maximum shear stresses
derived using the Thick-wall and Thin-wall Theories.

Solution:
t 12.5 mm 1 1 1
1. Check t/r Ratio: = = ² or
r 25 mm 2 20 10

## The application of Thin-wall Theory to estimate the stress state of this

cylinder is thus not justified.

## 2. Compute stresses using the Thin-wall Theory to compare with Thick-

wall theory estimates.

## a. Hoop Stress (average stress, uniform across wall)

− po d o − (150 MPa )(50 mm)
σt = = = −300 MPa
2t 2(12.5 mm)

## c. Longitudinal Stress (average stress, uniform across wall)

−p d σ
σ l = o o = t = −150 MPa
4t 2

## 3. Identify Principal Stresses in terms of “Average” Stresses:

σ 1 = σ r = 0 MPa
σ 2 = σ l = −150 MPa
σ 3 = σ t = −300 MPa

## 4. Maximum Shear Stress Calculation:

σ 1 − σ 3 0 − (−300 MPa )
τ max = = = +150 MPa
2 2

## 5. Percent Difference between Thin- and Thick-wall Estimates for the

Critical Section:

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τ max,Thin − τ max,Thick
% Difference = ∗100%
τ max,Thick
(+150) − (+200)
= ∗ (100%) = −25%
(+200)

##  Thin -wall estimate is 25% low! ⇐

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