STRESSES IN
THINWALLED PRESSURE VESSEL
SOLID MECHANICS II
BMCS 3333
Nadlene Razali
Introduction
Cylindrical or spherical vessels commonly used in industry to serve as
boilers or tanks.
When under pressure, the material of vessel is subjected to a loading
from all direction.
The vessel can be analyzed as thin wall or thick wall.
Introduction
Thin wall refers to a vessel having an innerradiustowallthickness ratio of 10 or
more .
10 >
t
r
i
Thin wall:
Thick wall:
10 <
t
r
i
Few example of thin walled applications:
Pressure pipes
Aircraft fuselages
Compressed gas container
If the vessel wall is thin, the stress distribution throughout its
thickness will not vary significantly or can be assumed uniform or
constant.
The pressure in the vessel is understood to be the gauge pressure or
the pressure above atmospheric pressure.
Cylindrical Vessels
For a closed cylinder with an internal pressure, there can be three direct
stresses acting upon it:
i) Longitudinal stress
ii) Hoop stress
iii) Radial stress
Longitudinal stress (xaxis) : the cylinder resistance to stretching along
the axis.
Hoop stress: the cylinder resistance to grow in diameter
Radial stress : pressure compressing the wall cylinder
Cylindrical Vessels
Longitudinal stress and hoop stress are directly proportional to the
pressure and the ratio of diameter to thickness.
However the radial stress is related to pressure alone.
Because of this relationship to the geometry, the longitudinal stress
and hoop stress are considered far greater than radial stress.
The radial stress in a thin cylinder is small enough and to be ignored
in basic analysis.
Cylindrical Vessels
Consider a cylindrical vessel with
principal stresses
o
1
= hoop stress
o
2
= longitudinal stress
From the force equilibrium,
( ) ( ) 0 2 2
1
= A A x r p x t o
t
pr
=
1
o
Cylindrical Vessels
From the force equilibrium,
0 =
X
F
( ) ( ) 0 2
2
2
= r p rt t t o
t
pr
2
2
= o
2 1
2o o =
0 =
X
F
We also noticed that,
Introduction
Example:
A pressure tank, 4.5 m length and 1.5 m outer diameter has a thickness of
9mm. If air pressure inside the tank is 580 kPa, determine:
i) Hoop stress
ii) Longitudinal stress
Solution:
Example:
The cylindrical portion of the compressed
air tank shown is fabricated of 8 mm plate
welded along a helix forming an angle  =
30 with the horizontal.
Knowing that, the allowable stress normal
to weld is 75 MPa, determine the largest
pressure can be applied in the tank.
Thin Walled Pressure Vessels
Thin Walled Pressure Vessels
Solution:
Thin Walled Pressure Vessels
The cylindrical tank AB has an 200mm diameter and a 8mm wall thickness.
Knowing that the pressure inside the tank is 4.2 MPa, determine the maximum
Normal stress and the maximum shearing stress at point K located on the top
of the tank.
Example
Spherical Vessels
Consider a spherical vessel of inner
radius r and wall thickness t,
containing a pressure p.
For reason of symmetry, the stress
exerted on the element must be equal.
From the force equilibrium,
EF
x
=0;
o
2
(2trt)p(tr
2
)=0
t
pr
2
1 2
= =o o
Spherical Vessels
Example:
Solution:
Given that,

A spherical gas container made of steel has 6 m outer diameter and wall
thickness of 9 mm. Knowing that internal pressure is 500 kPa,
determine:
i) maximum normal stress
ii maximum shearing stress in the container