Stress Concentration in Tubular Joints
- A.B. Potvin (Exxon Production Research Co.) | J.G. Kuang (Exxon Production Research Co.) | R.D. Leick (Exxon Production Research Co.) | J.L. Kahlich (Exxon Production Research Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- August 1977
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 287 - 299
- 1977. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.5 Offshore Facilities and Subsea Systems, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment
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Fatigue cracking caused by stress concentrations in tubular joints has been observed in some fixed platforms installed in hostile environments. platforms installed in hostile environments. Consequently, the ability to assess the magnitude of the stress concentration is a Prerequisite to dealing with the fatigue problem of tubular joints. This paper deals with the problem of computing the stress concentration in three types of simple, nonreinforced joints: T-joints, K-joints, and TK-joints. Semi-empirical equations are presented for estimating the stress concentration due to axial loads and bending moments.
In off shore structures stress concentrations usually occur at the intersections of tubular members (i.e., tubular joints). For some joints, the stress concentration can produce a maximum stress at the intersection as high as 20 times the nominal stress acting in the members. Stress concentrations have aggravated the fatigue of tubular joints in many existing offshore structures. Therefore, an accurate computation of stress concentrations is of utmost importance in a tubular joint design.
The first part of this paper presents a discussion of the finite-element analysis method and the associated computer program developed exclusively for the analysis of tubular joints. The second part of this paper describes the parameter study carried out by means of the computer program. Formulas for estimating stress-concentration factors for simple joints commonly used in offshore structures are derived from the results of the parameter study. The usage of the resulting formulas is illustrated by a numerical example.
In offshore structures such as fixed platforms and semisubmersible drilling vessels, tubular members comprise the main load-carrying components. Examples of cracking and even complete separation at the intersections of such members have been cited previously throughout the literature. A typical example of such an intersection is shown in Fig. 1. The member of greatest diameter will be referred to as the chord. The smaller diameter members framing into the chord will be called branches. The sections of the chord wall lying within the branch intersection line (if present) will be called plugs. Fig. 2 shows the various simple joint types referred to in this paper.
Because of the relative complexity of the geometrical configuration of tubular intersections as well as the thin-shell theory governing their behavior, reliable prediction of the stresses in such joints by analytical techniques has proven to be costly as well as difficult. Early attempts at analysis ranged from elementary strength-of-materials approaches such as the "punching shear" method to more complicated treatments that solve the governing equations by means of Fourier Series superposition.
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