(FEA) Stress Intensities in Decanter
FEA Stress Intensities in Decanter

We performed stress and buckling (FEA) analysis on a decanter, which is used to transfer microcomposite materials from one reactor to another. The buckling analysis was performed in accordance with ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section VIII, Division 1.

The 14 gage (0.0781 inches) thick stainless steel decanter is supported by four 5/8-inch diameter bolts, and is subjected to external pressure (vacuum load) and product weight.

The stress analysis was performed using ANSYS finite element software, using ten-node structural tetrahedral solid (Solid 187) elements. For other features, such as the bolts, two-node beam elements were modelled. The model had approximately 99,000 nodes and 53,000 elements. Various loading conditions (bolt preload, deadweight, and vacuum pressure) were used to verify the structural integrity of the vessel. The bolt preload was achieved by applying an initial strain to the beam elements that produced a load of 4,500 pounds in each bolt at room temperature. The deadweight of the decanter was taken into account by applying an acceleration to the decanter equal to gravity in the z-direction. An external (vacuum) pressure of 15.0 psig was applied to the inside surfaces of the decanter. The effects of 60 kg of powder pressure was achieved by applying a linearly distributed pressure along the inside surface of the decanter.

The decanter is manufactured from 304 stainless steel. The bolts used were specified as 316 stainless steel. The material properties used in the analysis are:
Young’s Modulus: 28.3 x 106 psi
Poisson’s Ratio: 0.3
Density: 0.283 lb/in3
Yield Strength: 30 ksi
Tensile Strength: 70 ksi

Four different load cases of the decanter were evaluated:

  • Bolt preload only
  • Bolt preload + deadweight
  • Bolt preload + deadweight + external pressure (vacuum)
  • Bolt preload + deadweight + external pressure + product load

The image above shows the stress intensities in the decanter subject to vacuum loading.


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