On one imperfection estimation method for thin shell buckling in the design code RCC-MR

[+] Author and Article Information
Ashok Kumar

Indira Gandhi Center of Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, Tamilnadu, 603102, India

Anindya Chatterjee

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, 208016, India

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042117 History: Received June 01, 2018; Revised November 24, 2018


The thin shell design code RCC-MR is used for fast breeder reactor components operating at high temperatures. Thin shells from such applications can be designed using linear elastic buckling analysis, following procedures given in RCC-MR. For human safety, such procedures can and should be examined by the broader scientific community. Among such procedures, RCC-MR provides three alternative methods to quantify an imperfection value; and that value is used in subsequent calculations to determine safe loads. Of these methods, the third seems nonconservative. Here we examine that third method using detailed numerical examples. These examples, found by trial and error, are the main contribution of this paper. The first example is a nonuniform cylindrical shell closed with a spherical endcap, under external pressure. The second is a cylinder with an ellipsoidal head under internal pressure. The third is an L-shaped pipe with an end load. In all three cases, the new computed imperfection quantity is found to be surprisingly small compared to the actual value used for computations (e.g., 25 times smaller), and in two cases the result is insensitive to the actual imperfection. We explain how the three examples "trick" the imperfection quantification method in three different ways. We suggest that this imperfection quantification method in RCC-MR should be reexamined. The primary value of our paper lies not in new mechanics, but in identifying unexpected ways in which a particular step in shell design using RCC_MR could be nonconservative.

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