Structural Analysis of Large Ethane Storage Sphere for Design Pressure and Seismic Loads
The IUP Journal of Mechanical Engineering, Vol. IX, No. 1, February 2016, pp. 54-62
Posted: 9 Jul 2017
Date Written: 2016
The case study approach allows to study/analyze complex real-life problems by academicians/practicing engineers in their specific realms. This paper presents an analysis of the effect of combined internal pressure and seismic loads on a very large ethane storage sphere using 3D Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Large spherical pressure vessels are used widely in petrochemical industry for storage. Many of them are used to store hazardous and highly inflammable chemicals. When such pressure vessels are subjected to seismic loads, there is increased risk of failure of the supports. Specific focus will be on the seismic design and analysis of supports, as any compromise on the integrity of storage of highly flammable materials such as ethane, can be catastrophic. Internationally, ASME codes are accepted as validating criteria for pressure vessel design. Advanced 3D FEA will be carried out and a discussion comparing the results with the standards defined by ASME Section 8 is included. The case study carried out charts the recommended procedure by selection of suitable Stress Classification Line (SCL) coupled with linearization of the stresses to validate conformance with ASME Code requirements. Based on the results, the design of the supports of the ethane storage sphere for safety and adequacy for internal pressure and seismic loads will be certified.
Keywords: Structural analysis, Seismic loads, Supports, Pressure vessels, Modeling, FEM, FEA
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