During the past 30 years the main rules to design pressure vessels were based on elastic analyses. Many conservatisms associated to these different elastic approaches are discussed in this paper, like: stress criteria linearization for 3-D components, stress classification in nozzle areas, plastic shake down analysis, fatigue analysis, Ke evaluation, and pipe stress criteria for elastic follow-up due to thermal expansion or seismic loads...

This paper will improve existing codified rules in nuclear and non-nuclear Codes that are proposed as alternatives to elastic evaluation for different failure modes and degradation mechanisms: plastic collapse, plastic instability, tri-axial local failure, rupture of cracked component, fatigue and Ke, plastic shakedown. These methods are based on limit loads, monotonic or cyclic elastic-plastic analyses.

Concerned components are mainly vessels and piping systems.

No existing Code is sufficiently detailed to be easily applied; the needs are stress analysis methods through finite elements, material properties including material constitutive equations and criteria associated to each methods and each failure modes.

A first set of recommendation to perform these inelastic analysis will be presented to improve existing codes on an international harmonized way, associated to all material properties and criteria needed to apply these modern methods. An international draft Code Case is in preparation.

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