The present paper investigates the flexibility and stress factors for the pipe bends when they are connected with straight pipes and subjected to out-of-plane as well as in-plane bending moments, to which the conventional methods are not directly applicable. The stress analysis is carried out by the use of a new finite ring element method which is based on the general thin shell theory incorporating shear strain. The numerical results obtained for flexibility and stress factors are compared with the code formula. The influence of initial deflections and the variation of the pipe wall thickness is also studied.

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