Stress linearization is widely used in Pressure vessel Design by Analysis based on elastic stress analysis and stress categorization. This paper investigates the structural mechanics basis of stress linearization in the context of limit and shakedown analysis and proposes a new basis for the procedure that relates the stress along a line to the concept of limit load. This removes the need for some conceptual requirements associated with shell analysis from stress linearization, including restriction of SCL location to identified bending planes. It also introduces the concept of selecting stress distributions representative of the limit state to remove the need for some elements of stress categorization in the design procedure.

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