TRAINING MANUAL ON
PRESSURE VESSEL DESIGN
Armaco Consultant Pvt. Ltd.
A/6, Venus, Navroji Vakil Street,
Nana Chowk, Grant Road (W), Mumbai 400007.
Ph. 91222382 2923 / 86 Email: armaco@vsnl.net
PREPARED BY  LAXMIKANT CHAUHAN
2
DESIGN OF PRESSURE VESSEL AS PER CODE
ASME SECTION VIII DIV. 1
3
TOPICS
1.0 DEFINITIONS
2.0 MATERIALS
3.0 DESIGN LOADS
4.0 JOINT EFFICIENCY FACTOR
5.0 MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE STRESS VALUES
6.0 INTERNAL PRESSURE DESIGN
7.0 EXTERNAL PRESSURE DESIGN
8.0 OPENINGS & THEIR REINFORCEMENTS
9.0 WIND LOAD DESIGN
10.0 SEISMIC LOAD DESIGN
11.0 COMBINED LOADING
4
1.0 DEFINITIONS
Pressure Vessel
Several types of equipments that are used in the chemical industry have an unfired
pressure vessel as a basic component.
Examples storage vessels, kettles, distillation columns, heat exchangers,
evaporators, autoclaves, etc.
Operating & Design Conditions
The design conditions for pressure vessels are specified primarily in terms of
pressure and temperature.
Vessels subjected to vacuum and not provided vacuum breaker valves are
designed for 1 atm gage external pressure.
Operating or Working Temperature
The temperature that will be maintained in the metal of the part of the vessel being
considered for the specified operation of the vessel
Design Temperature
Maximum maximum temperature used in design shall not be less than the mean
metal temperature expected under operating conditions
Minimum minimum temperature used in design shall be the lowest expected in
service
Operating Pressure
The Pressure at the top of a vessel at which it normally operates.
It shall not exceed the MAWP, and it is usually kept at a suitable level below the
setting pressure of the pressure relieving devices to prevent their frequent opening.
Design Pressure
The Pressure used in the design of a vessel component together with the
coincident design metal temperature. Whenever applicable, static head shall be
added to the design pressure to determine the thickness of any zone of the vessel.
5
Maximum Allowable Working Pressure
The maximum gage pressure permissible at the top of a completed vessel in its
normal operating position at the designated coincident temperature for that
pressure.
This pressure is the least of the values for the internal or external pressure to be
determined by the rules of ASME Section VIII Div. 1 for any of the pressure
boundary parts like shell, dish ends, etc.
MAWP (hot & corroded) for every element is calculated by using nominal
thickness excluding corrosion allowance in the formula given in the Table for
Design of Internal pressure.
Hydrotest Pressure
A hydrotest shall be conducted on all vessels after all fabrication has been
completed and all NDT examinations have been completed.
(a) Hydrotest Pressure based on design pressure
(UG99 b34) = P x 1.3 x Sa/S
Where, Sa = Max. Allowable tensile stress at test
temperature
S = Max. allowable tensile stress at design temp.
(a) Hydrotest Pressure based on MAWP
(UG99 b) = (MAWP) x 1.3 x Sa/S
Tensile Stress
L
If the force (F) pulls the body producing an elongation, the axial stress is termed as
tensile stress.
L =
F/A (kg/m
2
)
Where, F = Force producing stress (Kg)
A = Area resisting the force (m
2
)
Compressive Stress
c
If the force (F) pushes the body reducing its length, the axial stress is termed as
compressive stress.
C =
F/A (kg/m
2
)
Where, F = Force producing stress (Kg)
A = Area resisting the force (m
2
)
6
Bending Stress
B
Bending stress is the normal stress that is induced at a point in a body subjected to
loads that cause it to bend.
Ex. A cantilever beam supported at one end or at both ends and bending under its
self weight or due to any load applied perpendicular to the beam.
When a Load (F) is applied perpendicular to the length (L) of a beam bending
moments due to the load are induced in the beam given by following formula;
Bending Moment, M = F x L (kgm)
And the bending stress is given by,
B
=
M/Z (kg/m
2
)
Where, Z = Section Modulus of the body under bending stress.(m
3
)
Shear stress
Shear stress is defined as the stress which is applied parallel or tangential to the
face of a material body.
=
F/A (kg/m
2
)
Where, F = Force producing stress (Kg)
A = Area resisting the force (m
2
)
Tensile strain
The ratio of change in length on a body under tensile stress to its original length is
termed as tensile strain.
=
l/L
Where, l = Change in length (m)
L = Original length (m)
Hookes Law
Within the limits of elasticity of a material body Strain is proportional to Stress
producing the strain.
~
E
Where, E = Constant called Youngs Modulus or Modulus of elasticity
Modulus of elasticity, E
Modulus of elasticity is defined as the ratio of the tensile stress to tensile strain
within the limits of elasticity.
E
=
/ (kg/m
2
)
For steel, E = 2.6 X 10
6
psi
Poisons ratio,
7
Poisons ratio is defined as the ratio of Lateral strain to Longitudinal strain. Within
the limit of elasticity Poisons ratio, is a constant.
=
l
/
L
For steel, = 0.3
Typical stress strain curve for ductile material
Point 1 Ultimate tensile strength (UTS)
Point 2 0.2% Proof strength
Point 3 Limit of Proportionality (limit of elasticity)
8
2.0 MATERIALS
Pressure vessels are usually spherical or cylindrical with domed ends. They are
provided with openings or nozzles with facilities for making threaded or flanged
joints.
They are normally fabricated from plates or sheets. Pipes and tubes are also used.
Pressure vessel is a major part of the equipment used in the chemical industry. It is,
therefore desirable to consider suitability of the different materials for construction
of pressure vessels operating under different conditions. Such conditions are
 Temperatures in the range of 600C to  200C,
 Pressure in the range of vacuum conditions to as high as 3000 Kg/cm,
 Corrosions effects due to acid and alkalis, steady or cyclic loading, etc.
Apart from the mechanical properties and corrosion resistance of the material,
fabrication problems, commercial availability of the material and the cost will have
to be critically assessed in the final selection of the material.
Metallic materials & nonmetallic materials are commonly used for construction of
pressure vessel
Metallic materials may be divided into three groups:
a) Low cost Cast iron, carbon and low alloy steel
b) Medium cost High alloy steel, Nonferrous metals such as
aluminium, copper, nickel, and their alloys, lead.
c) High cost Platinum, silver, tantalum, titanium, zirconium
The materials in the second and third group can be used in the form of cladding or
bonding for materials in the first group. Similarly nonmetallic linings such as
rubber, plastic, etc. are also used.
Materials subjected to stress due to pressure shall confirm to specifications given in
ASME Sect. II and limited to those permitted in ASME Sect. VIII Div. 1.
Materials for nonpressure parts skirt, supports need not confirm to the material to
which it is attached, but shall be weldable quality.
Material forms covered in ASME Sect. VIII Div. 1 are
Plates, forgings, castings, pipe and tubes, welding materials, nut and
washers, rods and bars.
9
Bolts and studs.
Full threaded stud
Partial threaded  when L > 8D
 min. thread length 1.5D
Minimum Allowable thickness & Mill under tolerance (UG16b)
Minimum thickness  1.5 mm (excluding corrosion allowance)
Mill under tolerance on plates  smaller of 0.25 mm or 6% of t
Pipe under tolerance  + 12.5% to be added to reqd. t
10
3.0 DESIGN LOADS (UG22)
The principal loads to be considered in designing a vessel shall include those from:
1) Design Pressure (Internal or external)
2) Dead Loads load due to weight of the vessel and normal contents under
operating or test conditions
3) Wind Loads
4) Seismic Loads due to earthquake
5) Thermal Loads loads due to temperature gradient or thermal expansion
6) Piping Loads loads due to connected piping
7) Superimposed static reactions from weights of attached equipment, such as
motors, machinery, other vessel, piping, linings and insulation
8) Impact reactions such as those due to fluid shock
9) Loads due to attachment of :
a. internals
b. vessel supports, such as lugs, rings, skirts, saddles, and legs
11
4.0 JOINT EFFICIENCY FACTOR (UW12)
Important joint efficiency values used in design formulas for calculation of stresses
and required thickness of pressure vessel are as follows:
Joint efficiency for full radiographed butt joints, E = 1.00
Joint efficiency for spot radiographed butt joints, E = 0.85
Joint efficiency for no radiographed butt joints, E = 0.70
The values of joint efficiencies for various category & type of welds are given in
Table UW12 of ASME Section VIII Div. 1
TABLE  UW12
Maximum Allowable Joint Efficiencies for Arc and Gas welded joints
Degree of
Radiographic
Examination
Type
No. Joint Description Limitations
Joint
Catego
ry
(a)
Full
(b)
Spot
(c)
None
1 Butt joints as attained by
doublewelding or by other
means (backing strips which
remain in place are excluded)
None A,B,C
& D
1.00 0.85 0.70
(a) None (b)
Circumferential butt
joints with one plate
offset
A,B,C
& D
0.90 0.80 0.65 2 Single welded butt joint with
backing strip
(b) Circumferential butt
joints with one plate
offset
A,B &
C
0.90 0.80 0.65
3 Single welded butt joint without
use of backing strip
Circumferential butt
joints only <16mm &
<600mm O.D.
A,B &
C
N.A. N.A. 0.60
(a) Longitudinal joints
< 10 mm
A N.A. N.A. 0.55 4 Double full fillet lap joint
(b) Circumferential
joints < 16mm
B & C N.A. N.A. 0.55
(a) Circumferential
joints for attachment of
heads <600mm OD
and <13mm
B N.A. N.A. 0.50 5 Single full fillet lap joints with
plug welds
(b) Circumferential
joints for attachment to
shell of jackets <16mm
C N.A. N.A. 0.50
(a) For heads convex to
pressure to shell <
16mm
A & B N.A. N.A. 0.45 6 Single full fillet lap joints
without plug welds
(b) For heads to shell
<600mm <6mm
A & B N.A. N.A. 0.45
7 Corner joints, full penetration,
partial penetration, and fillet
weld
C & D N.A. N.A. N.A.
8 Angle joints
B, C&D N.A. N.A. N.A.
12
UW3 Weld Joint Categories
Fig. UW3 from ASME Sect VIII Div. 1
Category A
Longitudinal welded joints in shell & nozzles.
Any welded joint within a sphere, formal head or flat head.
Circumferential welded joints connecting hemispherical heads to shell or nozzles.
Category B
Circumferential welded joints in shell & nozzles.
Circumferential welded joints connecting formed heads (other than hemispherical)
to shell/nozzles.
Category C
Welded joints connecting flanges, tubesheet or flat heads to shell, formed heads
and nozzles.
Category D
Welded joints connecting nozzles to shell, heads, flat heads and nozzles.
13
5.0 MAX ALLOWABLE STRESS VALUES (UG23)
For Internal Pressure
Section II D gives maximum allowable tensile stress (S) for different materials
For External Pressure
Maximum allowable longitudinal compressive stress is smaller of
1. maximum allowable tensile stress (S)
2. Value of factor B
Steps to calculate allowable compressive longitudinal stress 
1. Using the value of t and Ro calculate A
2. Enter value of A in the applicable material chart in subpart 3 of section II, Part D
for design temperature. If the value of A falls to the right of the curve, use tip
value of the curve.
3. Find the value of factor B
4. If A falls to left of curves in step 2,
Where, E = modulus of elasticity of the material at design temp.
5. Compare the calculated value of B with Maximum allowable tensile strength
value S derived from Section II Part D.
Maximum allowable longitudinal compressive stress = Smaller (S or value of B)
For Combined Loading 
Maximum general primary membrane stress (Pm) shall not exceed maximum
allowable tensile stress (S)
Maximum primary membrane stress (Pm) plus primary bending stress (Pb) across
thickness shall not exceed 1.5times maximum allowable tensile stress (S)
For combination of earthquake or wind loading with other loadings general primary
membrane stress (Pm) shall not exceed 1.2 times maximum allowable stress
) / (
125 . 0
t Ro
A =
2
AE
B =
14
6.0 INTERNAL PRESSURE DESIGN
Cylindrical Shell:
The internal pressure in the cylindrical shell gives rise to tensile stresses in the shell
thickness, one in the circumferential and the other in the longitudinal direction. Both
the stress can be calculated by the formula given in Table  I.
Since the circumferential stress is greater (approx. double the long. stress), it is
taken as the design stress.
Spherical Shell:
The internal pressure in the spherical shell also gives rise to tensile stresses in the
shell thickness in both directions but the value is same since the radii of the shell is
same in both directions.
The value of stress due to internal pressure can be calculated by the formula given
in TableI.
Conical Sections:
Conical head and conical reducers are frequently used in pressure vessel design.
The thickness of a conical head or a conical section under internal pressure P with
a half angle < 30 are calculated by the formula given in TableI.
At the junction of conical section & cylindrical shell localized stress are produced,
which are likely to exceed the design stress. In order to reduce the intensity of
localized stress, provision has to be made to attach it to the shell by a knuckle of
preferably 10% radius or by providing a compression ring to satisfy the
requirements of Appendix 15 of ASME Section VIII Div. 1.
Ellipsoidal & Torispherical Heads:
The value of circumferential stress is considered as design stress. It can be
calculated by the formula given in TableI.
Nomenclatures:
P = Design Internal Pressure
R = Inside radius of shell
t
r
= Min required thickness excluding corrosion allowance
S = Max allowable tensile stress at design temp. (from ASME II D)
E = Joint Efficiency Factor (Refer Topic 4.0)
t = Nominal thickness excluding corrosion allowance
15
= tn c where, tn = nominal thickness & c = corrosion allowance
D = Inside diameter of section of cone under consideration
M = Refer Table 1  4.2
L = Inside crown radius of torispherical dishends
K = Refer Table 1 4.1
Steps
1. Calculate the t
r
(min. required thickness) of individual components as per
formula given in the following table
2. Corrosion allowance if required is to be added to the min required thickness (t
r
).
3. Calculate the MAWP for every component. The final MAWP for the vessel will
be the minimum of individual MAWP.
4. Calculate the maximum stress
max
developed in every component.
5. Compare the
max
with allowable stress at design temp. S. If
max
is greater than
S assumed thickness is not sufficient.
6. Increase the component thickness and again follow steps from 1 to 5 until
max
is equal to or less than S.
Table I
Design formula for Internal Pressure
ID Based
Required thickness MAWP Max. Stress
Shell
t < 0.5R or P
< 0.385 SE
Circumferential
Stress
Longitudinal
Stress
Spherical
Shell
Conical
Section
< 30
Heads
Torispherical
2 : 1 Ellipsoidal
P SE
PR
tr
4 . 0 2 +
=
P SE
PLM
tr
2 . 0 2
=
P SE
PDK
tr
2 . 0 2
=
P SE
PR
tr
2 . 0 2
=
) 6 . 0 ( cos 2 P SE
PD
tr
t R
SEt
MAWP
6 . 0 +
=
Et
t R P ) 6 . 0 ( +
=
P SE
PR
tr
6 . 0
=
t R
SEt
MAWP
4 . 0
2
=
Et
t R P
2
) 4 . 0 (
=
t R
SEt
MAWP
4 . 0
2
=
Et
t R P
2
) 4 . 0 (
=
cos 2 . 1
cos 2
t D
SEt
MAWP
+
=
cos 2
) cos 2 . 1 (
Et
t D P +
=
t LM
SEt
MAWP
2 . 0
2
+
=
Et
t LM P
2
) 2 . 0 ( +
=
t KD
SEt
MAWP
2 . 0
2
+
=
Et
t KD P
2
) 2 . 0 ( +
=
16
Reinforcement at the junction of cone to shell (Appendix 15)
The thickness of a conical head or a conical section under internal pressure P with
a half angle < 30 are calculated as explained in Topic5. But in addition to this
the junction of cone to cylinder should be checked for additional Requirement of
Reinforcement to compensate for the discontinuity stresses (bending & shear)
arising due to sharp change in shape as per appendix 15 of ASME section VIII
Div.1.
17
When the value of from tables 15.1 & 15.2 is less than , reinforcement shall be
provided. When the value of is more than or equal to no reinforcement is
required. The area of metal which is in excess above the required area for the
applicable loadings may also be considered as reinforcement.
Nomenclatures
= Half apex angle of cone, deg.
= Value from tables 15.1 & 15.2
E = Lowest joint efficiency, usually E=1 for butt welded joints
P = Design internal pressure, psi.
R
L
= Inside radius of large cylinder, in.
R
S
= Inside radius of small cylinder, in.
S
S
= Maximum allowable stress value of shell material, psi.
S
c
= Maximum allowable stress value of cone material, psi.
Sr = Maximum allowable stress value of stiffener ring material, psi.
t = minimum required thickness of shell at junction, in.
ts = nominal thickness of shell at junction, in.
tr = minimum required thickness of cone at junction, in.
tc = nominal thickness of cone at junction, in.
Es = Modulus of elasticity of shell material, psi
Ec = Modulus of elasticity of cone material, psi
Er = Modulus of elasticity of reinforcing ring material, psi
f1 = axial load at large end due to wind, dead load, etc. lb/in.
f2 = axial load at small end due to wind, dead load, etc. lb/in.
Q
L
= PR
L
/2 + f1
Q
S
= PR
S
/2 + f2
y = cone to cylinder factor
= Ss *Es for reinforcing ring on shell
= Sc *Ec for reinforcing ring on cone
E
1
= Joint efficiency of longitudinal joint of shell (E=1 for butt joint)
18
E
2
= Joint efficiency of longitudinal joint of cone (E=1 for butt joint)
K = 1 when additional area of reinforcement is not required
= y/SrEr when a stiffening ring is required
Junction at the Large End
1. Required area of reinforcement, A
rL
sq. in.
2. Area of excess metal available, A
eL
sq. in.
3. Distance from junction within which the additional
reinforcement shall be situated, in.
4. Distance from the junction within which the centroid
of the reinforcement shall be situated, in.
Junction at the Small End
1. Required area of reinforcement, A
rS
sq. in.
2. Area of excess metal available, A
eL
sq. in.
3. Distance from junction within which the additional
reinforcement shall be situated, in.
4. Distance from the junction within which the centroid
of the reinforcement shall be situated, in.
tan 1
1
(
=
SsE
R kQ
A
L L
rL
cos / ) ( ) ( c L r c L s L t R t t ts R t t Ae + =
ts RL
ts RL 25 . 0
tan 1
1
(
=
SsE
R kQ
A
S S
rS
  cos / ) ( ) ( 78 . 0 tr tc t ts ts R Aes S + =
Rsts
Rsts 25 . 0
19
7.0 EXTERNAL PRESSURE DESIGN
Membrane compressive stress in a cylindrical shell under external pressure can be
calculated by using the formula for internal pressure by substituting value of
pressure P by
P. However thin walled vessels under external pressure fail at
stresses much lower than the yield strength due to instability of the shell.
In addition to the physical properties of the construction material the principal
factors governing the instability and critical (collapsing) pressure are geometrical
the unsupported length L, shell thickness t and the outside diameter Do.
Compressive stress due to external pressure,
Compressive stress developed due to external pressure should be less than or
equal to Code maximum allowable compressive stress (refer Topic 5.0).
Designing vessels for external pressure is an iterative procedure. First, a design is
selected with all of the variables included, and then the design is checked to
determine if it is adequate. If inadequate, the procedure is repeated until an
acceptable design is reached.
When vessels are designed for both internal and external pressure, it is common
practice to first determine the shell thickness required for the internal pressure
condition, and then check that thickness for the maximum allowable external
pressure. If the design is not adequate then a decision is made to either increase
the shell thickness to the next thickness of plate available, or add stiffening rings to
reduce the L dimension.
If the option of adding stiffening rings is selected, then the spacing can be
determined to suit the vessel configuration. Neither increasing the shell thickness to
remove stiffening rings nor using the thinnest shell with the maximum number of
stiffeners is economical. The optimum solution lies somewhere between these two
extremes. Typically, the utilization of rings with a spacing of 2D for vessel diameters
up to about eight feet in diameter and a ring spacing of approximately D for
diameters greater than eight feet provides an economical solution.
Et
t R P
C
) 6 . 0 ( +
=
20
FIG. G (Subpart 3 of Section II part D)
Geometric chart for components under external or compressive loadings
21
22
23
24
25
Fig UG28.1 Diagrammatic representation of lines of support for design of
cylindrical vessels subject to external pressure.
26
NOTES :
1. When the cone to cylinder junction or knuckle to cylinder junction is not a line of
support, the nominal thickness of the cone, knuckle, or toriconical section shall
not be less than the maximum thickness of the adjacent cylindrical shell.
2. Calculations shall be made using the diameter and corresponding thickness of
each section with dimension L as shown.
3. When the cone to cylinder or the knuckle to cylinder junction is a line of support,
the moment of inertia shall be provided in accordance with 18.
27
Cylindrical Shells (UG28)
(Do/t >10)
Nomenclatures 
Following nomenclatures are used in the design of shell for external pressure
A = Factor determined from Fig. G in Subpart 3 of Section II Part D
B = Factor determined from applicable material chart in subpart 3 of Section II,
Part D for maximum design metal temperature, psi.
t = Min. required thickness of cylindrical shell, in.
L = Design length, in., of vessel sections between lines of support as shown
in Fig. UG28 & Fig. UG28.1
A line of support is:
(1) a circumferential line on a head (excluding conical heads) at onethird the
depth of the head from the head tangent line as shown on Fig. UG28;
(2) a stiffening ring that meets the requirements of UG29;
(3) a jacket closure of a jacketed vessel that meets the requirements of 95;
(4) a conetocylinder junction or a knuckletocylinder junction of a toriconical
head or section which satisfies the moment of inertia requirement of 18.
Do= outside diameter of cylindrical shell course, in.
E = Modulus of elasticity of material at design temperature, psi
P = external design pressure, psi
Pa= calculated value of external working pressure for the assumed value of t,
psi.
Steps 
1. Assume t
2. Determine L/Do and Do/t
Enter L/Do in Fig G. in Subpart 3 of Section II Part D
For value L/Do > 50 use value at L/Do = 50
For value L/Do < 0.05 use value at L/Do = 0.05
3. For Value of Do/t find out factor A
28
4. Enter value of A in the applicable material chart in subpart 3 of section II, Part D
for design temperature. Interpolation may be made between lines for
intermediate temperatures. If the value of A falls to the right of the curve, use tip
value of the curve.
5. Find value of factor B
6. Maximum allowable working pressure
7. If A falls to left of curves in step 4,
8. Compare the calculated value of Pa with P. If Pa is smaller than P, select a
larger value for t and repeat the design procedure until a value of Pa is
obtained that is equal to or greater than P.
) / ( 3
4
t Do
B
Pa =
) / ( 3
2
t Do
AE
Pa =
29
Cylindrical Shells (UG28)
(Do/t <10)
Steps 
1. Assume t
2. Determine L/Do and Do/t
3. For Value of Do/t find out factor A
For Do/t < 4,
For values of A > 0.10, use value of 0.10
4. Enter value of A in the applicable material chart in subpart 3 of section II, Part D
for design temperature. If the value of A falls to the right of the curve, use tip
value of the curve.
5. Find the value of factor B
6. Using value of B Calculate
7. Calculate
Where S = smaller of 2 times maximum allowable tensile stress or 0.9 yield
strength.
Yield strength = 2By
By = value of B at termination point of curve
8. Pa = smaller of Pa1 and Pa2
9. Compare the calculated value of Pa with P. If Pa is smaller than P, select a
larger value for t and repeat the design procedure until a value of Pa is
obtained that is equal to or greater than P.
(
=
) / (
1
1
) / (
2
2
t Do t Do
S
Pa
B
t Do
Pa
(
= 0833 . 0
) / (
167 . 2
1
) / (
1 . 1
2
2
t Do
Pa =
30
Design of Stiffening Ring for Cylindrical Shells (UG33)
The design of stiffening ring is also a trial and error process. Stiffeners should never
be located over circumferential weld seams. If properly spaced they may also serve
as insulation support rings. As far as possible, stiffeners should always clear shell
nozzles. If unavoidable, special attention should be given to the design of a boxed
stiffener or connection to the nozzle neck.
Nomenclatures 
Following nomenclatures are used in the design of stiffeners
I
S
= required moment of Inertia of Stiffening Ring about its neutral axis, parallel
to axis of shell, in.
4
=
I
S
= required moment of Inertia of combined ring shell cross section about its
neutral axis, parallel to axis of shell, in.
4
=
I = Available moment of inertia of stiffening ring cross section, in.
4
I = Available moment of inertia of combined ring  shell cross section, in.
4
14
) / (
2
A Ls As t Ls Do +
9 . 10
) / (
2
A Ls As t Ls Do +
31
The nominal shell thickness ts shall be used and the width of shell which is taken
as contributing to the moment of inertia of the combined section shall not be greater
than 1.10(Dots) and shall be taken as lying onehalf on each side of the centroid
of the ring.
ts = nominal shell thickness, in.
As = cross section area of stiffening ring, in.
2
Ls = onehalf of the distance from the center line of the stiffening ring to the
next line of support on one side, plus onehalf of the center line distance to the next
line of support on the other side of the stiffening ring, both measured parallel to the
axis of the cylinder, in.
A, B, Do, E & P are as defined for design of cylindrical shell
Steps 
1. Select a member of stiffening ring and calculate A
S
Calculate
2. Enter value of B in material chart
3. Find intersection for design temperature
4. Find value of A
If different materials are used for the shell and stiffening ring, use the material
chart resulting in the larger value of A
5. For value of factor B falling below left end of curve
6. Calculate required moment of inertia I
S
or I
S
7. Calculate available moment of inertia I or I
8. If the required moment of inertia is greater than the available moment of inertia
for the section selected, for those cases where the stiffening ring is not attached
or where the combined ringshell stiffness was not considered, a new section
with a larger moment of inertia must be selected; the ring must be attached to
the shell and the combination shall be considered; or the ringshell combination
which was previously not considered together shall be considered together.
E
B
A
2
=
(
+
=
Ls As t
PDo
B
/ 4
3
32
Design of Conical Shells for external pressure (UG33)
(D
L
/te >10)
Nomenclatures 
Following nomenclatures are used in the design of shell for external pressure
A, B, E & P are as defined for design of cylindrical shell
te = effective thickness in conical sections, in.
= tcos
Le = equivalent length of conical sections, in.
= (L/2)(1+D
S
/D
L
)
D
S
= outside diameter at small end of conical section, in.
D
L
= outside diameter at large end of conical section, in.
Steps 
1. Assume te,
2. Determine Le/D
L
and D
L
/te
33
i. Enter Le/D
L
in Fig G. in Subpart 3 of Section II Part D
ii. For value Le/D
L
> 50 use value at Le/D
L
= 50
iii. For value Le/D
L
< 0.05 use value at Le/D
L
= 0.05
3. For Value of D
L
/te find out factor A
4. Enter value of A in the applicable material chart in subpart 3 of section II, Part D
for design temperature. If the value of A falls to the right of the curve, use tip
value of the curve.
5. Find value of factor B
6. Maximum allowable working pressure
7. If A falls to left of curves in step 4,
8. Compare the calculated value of Pa with P. If Pa is smaller than P, select a
larger value for t and repeat the design procedure until a value of Pa is
obtained that is equal to or greater than P.
In addition to above the design of conical sections should satisfy the additional
requirements of Appendix 18.
) / ( 3
4
e L t D
B
Pa =
) / ( 3
2
e L t D
AE
Pa =
34
Design of Conical Shells for external pressure (UG33)
(D
L
/te <10)
Steps 
1. Assume te
2. Determine Le/D
L
and D
L
/te
3. For Value of D
L
/te find out factor A
For D
L
/te < 4,
For values of A > 0.10, use value of 0.10
4. Enter value of A in the applicable material chart in subpart 3 of section II, Part D
for design temperature. If the value of A falls to the right of the curve, use tip
value of the curve.
5. Find the value of factor B
6. Using value of B Calculate
7. Calculate
Where S = smaller of 2 times maximum allowable tensile stress or 0.9 yield
strength.
Yield strength = 2By
By = value of B at termination point of curve
8. Pa = smaller of Pa1 and Pa2
9. Compare the calculated value of Pa with P. If Pa is smaller than P, select a
larger value for t and repeat the design procedure until a value of Pa is
obtained that is equal to or greater than P.
Reinforcement at the junction of cone to shell (Appendix 18)
The junction of cone to cylinder should be checked for additional Requirement of
Reinforcement to compensate for the discontinuity stresses due to sharp change in
shape as per appendix 15 of ASME section VIII Div.1 as well as should also satisfy
the requirement of Appendix 18 for Area & Moment of Inertia of reinforcement.
B
t D
Pa
e L
(
= 0833 . 0
) / (
167 . 2
1
(
=
e L e L t D t D
S
Pa
/
1
1
/
2
2
2
) / (
1 . 1
e L t D
A =
35
When the value of from tables 18.1 is less than , reinforcement shall be
provided. When the value of is more than or equal to no reinforcement is
required. The area of metal which is in excess above the required area for the
applicable loadings may also be considered as reinforcement.
Nomenclatures
A
TL
= Equivalent area of cone, shell and stiffening ring at large shell
A
TS
= Equivalent area of cone, shell and stiffening ring at small shell
L
L
= Largest of the following Distance of large shellcone junction to
nearest stiffening ring or
Distance of large shellcone junction to the onethird the depth of
head on the other end of large shell if no stiffener is used.
L
S
= Largest of the following Distance of small shellcone junction to
nearest stiffening ring or
Distance of small shellcone junction to the onethird the depth of
head on the other end of small shell if no stiffener is used.
= Value from tables 15.1 & 15.2
E = Lowest joint efficiency, usually E=1 for butt welded joints
P = Design internal pressure, psi.
R
L
= Inside radius of large cylinder, in.
R
S
= Inside radius of small cylinder, in.
S
S
= Maximum allowable stress value of shell material, psi.
36
S
c
= Maximum allowable stress value of cone material, psi.
Sr = Maximum allowable stress value of stiffener ring material, psi.
t = minimum required thickness of shell at junction, in.
ts = nominal thickness of shell at junction, in.
tr = minimum required thickness of cone at junction, in.
tc = nominal thickness of cone at junction, in.
Es = Modulus of elasticity of shell material, psi
Ec = Modulus of elasticity of cone material, psi
Er = Modulus of elasticity of reinforcing ring material, psi
f1 = axial load at large end due to wind, dead load, etc. lb/in.
f2 = axial load at small end due to wind, dead load, etc. lb/in.
Q
L
= PR
L
/2 + f1
Q
S
= PR
S
/2 + f2
y = cone to cylinder factor
= Ss *Es for reinforcing ring on shell
= Sc *Ec for reinforcing ring on cone
Junction at the Large End
1. Required area of reinforcement, A
rL
sq. in.
2. Area of excess metal available, A
eL
sq. in.
3. Distance from junction within which the additional
reinforcement shall be situated, in.
4. Distance from the junction within which the centroid
of the reinforcement shall be situated, in.
When the junction is a Line of support the Moment of Inertia at the large end is
calculated as follow 
Step
1. Select a member to be used as a stiffening ring and calculate the area A
TL
2. Calculate value of B as follows
Where,
And
(
L
L L L L
rL
Q
Q PR
SsE
R kQ
A 4 / 1 1
tan
1
) cos / ( 55 . 0 tc ts ts D Ae L L + =
ts RL
ts RL 25 . 0
(
=
TL
L L
A
D F
B 4 / 3
tan 1 f PM FL + =
tan 3 2 2
tan
2 2
L
S L
L L
R
R R
L R
M
+ +
=
37
3. Enter the applicable material chart and find value of A.
4. For the value of B falling to the left of the material chart A = 2B/Ex
5. Calculate the required moment of inertia of the cone to shell junction as follows
Or for combined ring shell junction
6. Calculated the moment of Inertia I of the selected ring or I for combined ring
shell junction.
7. The moment of inertia I of the selected ring or I should be greater than the
calculated Is or Is
Junction at the Small End
1. Required area of reinforcement, A
rS
sq. in.
2. Area of excess metal available, A
eS
sq. in.
3. Distance from junction within which the additional
reinforcement shall be situated, in.
4. Distance from the junction within which the centroid
of the reinforcement shall be situated, in.
When the junction is a Line of support the Moment of Inertia at the small end is
calculated as follow 
Step
1. Select a member to be used as a stiffening ring and calculate the area A
TS
2. Calculate value of B as follows
Where,
And
3. Enter the applicable material chart and find value of A.
4. For the value of B falling to the left of the material chart A = 2B/Ex
5. Calculate the required moment of inertia of the cone to shell junction as follows
Or for combined ring shell junction
0 . 14
2
TL L A AD
Is =
9 . 10
'
2
TL L A AD
s I =
ts RS
ts RS 25 . 0
(
=
TS
S S
A
D F
B 4 / 3
tan 2 f PN FS + =
tan 6 2 2
tan
2 2
S
S L
S S
R
R R
L R
N
+ + =
0 . 14
2
TS S A AD
Is =
9 . 10
'
2
TS S A AD
s I =
1
tan
SsE
R kQ
A
S S
rS
=
) cos / ) ( ) ( 55 . 0 tr tc t ts ts D Ae S S + =
38
Hemispherical Shell/Dish Ends (UG33)
Nomenclatures 
Following nomenclatures are used in the design of hemispherical shell/dished ends
for external pressure
A, B, t, E & P are as defined for design of cylindrical shell
Ro = outside radius of hemispherical shell/dish end, in
Steps 
1. Assume t
2. Calculate value of factor A
3. Enter value of A in the applicable material chart in subpart 3 of section II, Part D
for design temperature. Interpolation may be made between lines for
intermediate temperatures. If the value of A falls to the right of the curve, use tip
value of the curve.
4. Find value of factor B
5. Maximum allowable working pressure
6. If A falls to left of curves in step 3,
7. Compare the calculated value of Pa with P. If Pa is smaller than P, select a
larger value for t and repeat the design procedure until a value of Pa is
obtained that is equal to or greater than P.
t Ro
B
Pa
/
=
2
) / (
0625 . 0
t Ro
E
Pa =
t R
A
o /
125 . 0
=
39
Torispherical / Ellipsoidal Dish Ends (UG33)
Nomenclatures 
Nomenclatures are same as used in the design of hemispherical shell/dished ends
for external pressure
Steps 
1. Assume t
2. Calculate value of factor A
3. Enter value of A in the applicable material chart in subpart 3 of section II, Part D
for design temperature. Interpolation may be made between lines for
intermediate temperatures. If the value of A falls to the right of the curve, use tip
value of the curve.
4. Find value of factor B
5. Maximum allowable working pressure
6. If A falls to left of curves in step 3,
7. Compare the calculated value of Pa with P. If Pa is smaller than P, select a
larger value for t and repeat the design procedure until a value of Pa is
obtained that is equal to or greater than P.
8. Also calculate thickness with internal pressure as equal to 1.67 times external
design pressure with E = 1.00
t Ro
B
Pa
/
=
2
) / (
0625 . 0
t Ro
E
Pa =
t Ro
A
/
125 . 0
=
40
8.0 OPENINGS & THEIR REINFORCEMENTS (UG36)
Openings in cylindrical or conical portions of vessels, or in formed heads, shall
preferably be circular, elliptical, or obround (two sides parallel with semicircular
ends).
Properly reinforced openings in cylindrical shells are not limited as to size except
with the following provisions for design.
Vessel Nozzle
D < 1500mm D, but not to exceed 500mm
D > 1500mm D, but not to exceed 1000mm
For openings exceeding these limits, supplemental rules of Appendix 17 of Sect.
VIII Div.1 shall be satisfied in addition to UG36 through UG43.
For openings on end closures, larger than D, conical reducers, with or without
knuckle may be used. (see Fig. UG 36)
41
Openings in vessels not subject to rapid fluctuations in pressure do not require
reinforcement under the following conditions:
For welded connection
d < 89 mm when required shell/head thickness < 10 mm
d < 60 mm when required shell/head thickness > 10 mm
For threaded connection
d < 60 mm
Distance between centre lines of two isolated unreinforced openings
> sum of their diameters
LIMITS OF REINFORCEMENT
The boundaries of the cross sectional area in any plane normal to the vessel wall
and passing through the center of the opening within which metal must be located
in order to have value as reinforcement are designated as the limits of
reinforcement for that plane (see Fig. UG37.1). Figure UG40 depicts thicknesses
t, te, and t
n
, or ti and diameter d used in establishing the limits of reinforcement.
Parallel to vessel wall, on each side of axis of opening, equal to greater of the
following:
1. diameter d of the finish opening
2. Radius of finished opening R
n
plus vessel wall thickness t plus nozzle wall
thickness t
n
.
Normal to vessel wall, from each surface, equal to smaller of the following.
1. 2 times the vessel wall thickness t
2. Radius of finished opening R
n
plus vessel wall thickness t plus nozzle wall
thickness t
n
.
42
43
44
NOZZLE NECK THICKNESS (UG45)
The nozzle neck thickness shall be calculated as per following procedure
Minimum Nozzle thickness, tn=
Where,
tr = Min. required thickness of seamless shell based on circumferential
stress or minimum thickness of dishend calculated as per Code
rules.
trn= Min. required thickness of seamless nozzle wall calculated in the
same manner as the shell thickness based on circumferential stress.
CA= Corrosion allowance.
) 875 0 x (
,
] , [
, ] , [
16
1
16
1
16
1
+




\

+
)
+
+ +
CA t
CA . std thk
CA Max
CA CA t Max
Max
Min
Max
rn
" "
"
r
45
9.0 DESIGN FOR WIND LOAD
The velocity pressure representing the total kinetic energy of the moving air mass
feet above the ground on a flat surface perpendicular to the wind velocity is given
by equation:
Velocity pressure = V/2
Where, = air mass density
& V = wind velocity
Step to design for wind load as per IS 875 (part 3)
1. Basic wind speed V
b
is selected (for any site) from Fig 1 of IS875 (part3) m/s
2. Calculate design wind speed for various height zones of constant wind
velocities, m/s, V
Z
= V
b
k
1
k
2
k
3
Where, k
1
= probability factor (risk coefficient) as given in Table 1
k
2
= terrain, height and structure size factor as given in Table 2
k
3
= topography factor (see 5.3.3 in Std.)
=1 to 1.3 depending upon topographical features such as cliffs, hills,
valleys or ridges etc.
3. Calculate design wind pressures for various height zones N/m
2
,
P
Z
= 0.6V
z
2
= 0.6V
z
2
/ 9.81 (Kg/m
2)
4. Calculate wind force (Kg) for every important section changes such as change
in thickness, size as well as wind pressure zone, etc., F
Z
= k
a
A
e
P
z
Where, k
a
= Shape factor = 0.7 (for circular section )
A
e
= effective area of the object (for the particular height zone) normal to the
wind direction
= D
e
x H
s
where, D
e
= (outside dia of vessel) + (2 x insulation thickness) + (external pipe
o.d., if any. + 2 x insulation) + platform + ladder
H
s
= Length of the vessel section in the zone of uniform wind velocity
5. Bending moment Kgm, M = F
Z
H
z
Where, H
z
= Height of center of gravity of the section (m)
6. Calculate wind loads and cumulative wind shear Q & bending moment M, at all
the important section changes such as change in thickness, size, pressure
zone, etc
7. Calculate axial stresses due to bending moment,
Section modulus (m
3
), Z = R
2
t
8. Calculate shear stress due to shear force,
where, Q = shear force(kg) & A = area (m
2
) = Dt
Z
M
fa =
A
Q
fsa =
46
9. Compare the calculated stress with code allowable stresses. If the calculated
stress is more than code allowable stress, the thickness of the section has to be
increased and again checked in the same manner.
47
48
Terrain in which a specific structure stands shall be assessed as being one of the
following terrain categories:
Category I Exposed open terrain with few or no obstructions and in which the
average height of any object surrounding the structure is less than 1.5m.
Category II Open terrain with well scattered obstructions having heights generally
between 1.5 to 10m.
Category III Terrain with numerous closely spaced obstructions having the size
of building/structures up to 10m height with or without a few isolated tall structures.
Category IV Terrain with numerous large high closely spaced obstructions.
The buildings/structures are classified into the following three different classes
depending upon their size:
Class A Structures and/or their components such as cladding, glazing, roofing,
etc., having maximum dimension (greatest horizontal or vertical dimension) less
than 20m.
Class B Structures and/or their components such as cladding, glazing, roofing,
etc., having maximum dimension (greatest horizontal or vertical dimension)
between 20 and 50m.
Class C Structures and/or their components such as cladding, glazing, roofing,
etc., having maximum dimension (greatest horizontal or vertical dimension) greater
than 50m.
49
Wind Induced Deflection of Tall Vessel
The sustained wind pressure will cause a tall vessel to deflect with the wind. The
magnitude of deflection has to be limited to a certain extent. ASME Sect. VIII Div.1
allows for 6 inch deflection per 100 ft of height.
The vessel is assumed to be a cantilever beam firmly fixed to the concrete
pedestal. The six basic formulas for deflection of cantilever beam is shown in the
Table 4.2.
50
Step to calculated deflection due the wind load:
1. Consider the vessel as a cantilever beam as shown in Fig. 4.10. Using the
formulas in Table 4.2 the individual deflections can be evaluated:
Deflections
.
.
.
2. The Total deflection at the top the column is:
3. Allowable deflection is 6 per 100 foot height of column. If the deflection per 100
foot is greater than the allowable deflection, consider revising the thicknesses of
individual sections and recheck for maximum deflection.
(
+ + =
2 3 8
1 1 1 1 1
1
1
2
1
M L Q L W
EI
L
y
(
+ + =
2 3 8
2 2 2 2 2
2
2
2
2
M L Q L W
EI
L
y
(
+ + = 2
2 2 2 2
2
2 1
2 1
2 6
M
L Q L W
EI
L L
(
+ + =
2 3 8
3 3 3 3 3
3
3
2
3
M L Q L W
EI
L
y
( )
(
+ +
+
= 3
3 3 3 3
3
3 2 1
3 1
2 6
M
L Q L W
EI
L L L
(
+ + =
2 3 8
4 4 4 4 4
4
4
2
4
M L Q L W
EI
L
y
( )
(
+ +
+ +
= 4
4 4 4 4
4
4 3 2 1
4 1
2 6
M
L Q L W
EI
L L L L
(
+ + =
2 3 8
2
i i i i i
i
i
i
M L Q L W
EI
L
y
( )
(
+ +
+ + +
=
i
i i i i
i
i i
i M
L Q L W
EI
L L L L
2 6
.... 1 2 1
1
i i i y y y y y + + + + + + + = 1 3 1 2 1 3 2 1 ...... ........
51
Vibration (dynamic) Analysis
Tall cylindrical vessels and chimneys vibrate with a high frequency perpendicular to
the direction of comparatively lowvelocity winds.
Tall stacks should be checked for crosswind vibrations.
A detailed examination is however required to determine whether a tall process
column needs to be checked for vibration induced dynamic forces as given below:
1. Calculate the First natural period of vibration, T.
(a) For tall, slender cylindrical tower of uniform diameter & thickness
T = (1/0.560)(wH
4
/gEI)
1/2
Where, w = weight per foot of the vessel, lb/ft
H = total height, ft
g = gravitational acceleration = 32.2 ft/sec
2
E = Modulus of elasticity, psi
I = moment of inertia of the section = (d
3
t/8)(1/12) ft
4
d = shell mean corroded diameter, ft
(b) For tall, slender cylindrical tower of different diameter & step down shell
thickness
T = 2(Wy
2
/gWy)
1/2
Where, Wy = W
1
y
a
+ W
2
y
b
+ . . . . . . W
n
y
n
Wy
2
= W
1
y
a
2
+ W
2
y
b
2
+ . . . . . . W
n
y
n
2
W
1
, W
2
, W
3
= operating weights of individual sections
y
a
, y
b
, y
c
= deflections of centers of gravity a, b, c of individual
sections (refer solved example 1.20 is PV Design
book by Henry & Bednar)
2. Calculate the First critical wind velocity (mph), V
1
= 3.40d/T
Where, d = outside diameter of vessel (ft)
T = First natural period of vibration (second/cycle)
3. The second critical wind velocity (mph), V
2
= 6.25V
1
4. Further vibration analysis is not required if,
(a) If first critical velocity V
1
is greater than the design wind velocity V
z
used in static pressure computation, no further check is required.
52
(b) The limiting minimum height to diameter ratios H/d for vibration
analysis are:
For unlined stacks : H/d > 13
For lined stacks, process columns: H/d > 15
(c) Possible criteria relating to total weight W (lb), height H (ft), and
average diameter of top half of the vessel d (ft) as follows:
W/Hd
2
< 20, analysis must be performed
20 < W/Hd
2 <
25, analysis should be performed
25 < W/Hd
2
, analysis need not be performed.
53
10.0 DESIGN FOR SEISMIC LOAD (IS1893)
Seismic forces on a vessel result from sudden erratic vibratory motion of the ground
on which the vessel is supported and the vessel response to this motion.
All equipments in seismic zones to be designed and constructed to withstand the
minimum lateral force V applied at the base in any horizontal direction and is given
by
Base shear, V
b
= A
h
W
Where, A
h
= Design horizontal acceleration spectrum value using the
fundamental natural period Ta
=
Z = Seismic Zone Factor (from Table 2 of IS 1893)
I = Importance factor (from Table 6 of IS 1893)
R = Response Reduction Factor (from Table 7 of IS 1893)
Sa/g = Average response acceleration coefficient (from 6.4.5 of
IS1893)
W = normal operating weight
The distribution of base shear V over the height of the structure is given by
Where, Fx = Lateral force due to seismic forces at height hx
Wx = Weight of the section at height hx
The base moment Mb and the moments Mx at level hx can be calculated as follows
1. Calculate the Base shear due to seismic forces, V
2. Calculate the lateral forces, Fx due to earthquake at various height hx and
cumulative shear, Q & bending moment Mx, at all the important section changes
3. Calculate axial stresses due to bending moment,
Section modulus (m
3
), Z
x
= R
x
2
t
4. Calculate shear stress due to shear force,
where, Q = shear force(kg) & A = area (m
2
) = Dt
5. Compare the calculated stress with code allowable stresses. If the calculated
stress is more than code allowable stress, the thickness of the section has to be
increased and again checked in the same manner.
=
2 2
/ Wxhx Wxhx V Fx b
= Fxhx Mb
Fxhx Mx =
Zx
Mx
fa =
A
Q
fsa =
g
Sa
R
I Z
2
54
11.0 COMBINED LOADINGS
The shell thickness of tall slender columns, as computed by the code formulas, based on
the internal or external pressure alone, may not be sufficient to withstand the combined
stress produced by the operating pressure plus the weight plus the wind or seismic loads.
According to ASME code the shell thickness computations are based on circumferential
stress due to design pressure or longitudinal stress due to design pressure plus weight
plus wind/earthquake.
As a standard practice all vessels and their supports must be design and constructed to
resist the effects of the followings combinations of design loads without exceeding the
design limit stress
(I) Erection (Empty) design condition
This includes erection (empty) dead load of the vessel with full effects of wind or
earthquake.
(II) Operating design condition
This includes the design pressure plus any static liquid head, the operating dead
load of the vessel, the wind or earthquake loads, and any other load.
(III) Hydrotest condition
For Shop test the vessel is tested in horizontal position. This includes only the
hydrotest pressure plus the shop test weight of the vessel.
For Field test the vessel is tested on location. This includes the hydrotest
pressure plus the static head and the field test weight (without insulation) of the
vessel. Wind or earthquake need not be considered.
The maximum stresses as computed from the above design conditions cannot exceed the
design stresses as per Code. For all combinations wind and earthquake loads need not be
assumed simultaneously, the one which produces greater stresses need be considered.
Following above mentioned design conditions (empty/operating/hydrotest) the following
stress need to be very carefully checked
Max. Circumferential stress,
Stress in circumferential direction due to design pressure,
Et
t R P
C
) 6 . 0 ( +
=
55
Max Axial Stress (Tensile)
Max Axial Tensile Stress due to combined load of internal pressure, dead weight and
wind/seismic will be at the Bottom TL of the vessel on the wind ward side of vessel as
given below
Where, M = Bending moment due to wind or seismic at the bottom TL
W = Dead weight of the vessel sections above bottom TL
t = Nominal thickness assumed (corroded) at bottom TL
R = Inside radius of vessel
D = Diameter of the vessel at bottom TL
P = Internal Design Pressure
E = Joint Efficiency Factor
Max Axial Stress (Compressive)
Max Axial Compressive Stress will be induced in the vessel bottom TL of the vessel on the
Lee ward side when Internal pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure and it is given by 
For vacuum vessel or for external pressure condition, the max compressive stress
on the Lee ward side is give by
Where P = External Design Pressure / 15psi (for vacuum)
The maximum tensile or compressive stresses should be less than the value of
code allowable compressive stress.
Dt
W
t R
M
Et
t R P
L
+
=
2
2
) 4 . 0 (
Dt
W
t r
M
C
=
2
Dt
W
t R
M
Et
t R P
C
=
2
2
) 4 . 0 (