Abstract

Layered pressure vessels provide a cost-effective solution for high pressure gas storage. Several types of designs and constructions of layered pressure vessels are included in ASME BPV Section VIII Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3. Compared with conventional pressure vessels, there are two unique features in layered construction that may affect the structural integrity of the layered vessels especially in cyclic service: (1) Gaps may exist between the layers due to fabrication tolerances and an excessive gap height introduces additional stresses in the shell that need to be considered in design. The ASME Codes provide rules on the maximum permissible number and size of these gaps. The fatigue life of the vessel may be governed by the gap height due to the additional bending stress. The rules on gap height requirements have been updated recently in Section VIII Division 2. (2) ASME code rules require vent holes in the layers to detect leaks from inner shell and to prevent pressure buildup between the layers. The fatigue life may be limited by the presence of stress concentration at vent holes. This paper reviews the background of the recent code update and presents the technical basis of the fatigue design and maximum permissible gap height calculations. Discussions are made in design and fabrication to improve the fatigue life of layered pressure vessels in cyclic service.

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