A fully implicit, lower bound, multi-axial solution strategy for direct ratchet boundary evaluation: implementation and comparison

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Ensuring sufficient safety against ratcheting is a fundamental requirement in pressure vessel design. However, determining the ratchet boundary using a full elastic plastic finite element analysis can be problematic and a number of direct methods have been proposed to overcome difficulties associated with ratchet boundary evaluation. This paper proposes a new lower bound ratchet analysis approach, similar to the previously proposed Hybrid method but based on fully implicit elastic-plastic solution strategies. The method utilizes superimposed elastic stresses and modified radial return integration to converge on the residual state throughout, resulting in one Finite Element model suitable for solving the cyclic stresses (Stage 1) and performing the augmented limit analysis to determine the ratchet boundary (Stage 2). The modified radial return methods for both stages of the analysis are presented, with the corresponding stress update algorithm and resulting consistent tangent moduli. Comparisons with other direct methods for selected benchmark problems are presented. It is shown that the proposed method evaluates a consistent lower bound estimate of the ratchet boundary, which has not previously been clearly demonstrated for other lower bound approaches. Limitations in the description of plastic strains and compatibility during the ratchet analysis are identified as being a cause for the differences between the proposed methods and current upper bound methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number011205
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pressure Vessel Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014
EventASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference 2012 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 15 Jul 201220 Jul 2012


  • ratcheting
  • pressure vessel design
  • implicit elastic-plastic solution
  • cyclic stress

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