Publications – High Temperature Applications

This is a Partial list of Publications on Elevated Temperature Design & Analysis – written by Bill, Sr. and others.

During the 2022 ASME PVP Conference in Pittsburgh, the ASME presented an award to Bill, Sr. for over 45 years of his contributions to ASME Division III Standards Development Committees, including:
  • Chairman, ASME Task Force on Creep Analysis
  • Chairman, ASME Subgroup on Fatigue Strength
  • Member, ASME Subgroup on Elevated Temperature Design
Read a Summary of Bill Sr.’s Resume.


(PDF) “Vessels for Elevated Temperature Service” by W. J. O’Donnell and J. S. Porowski, Chapter One, Developments in Pressure Vessel Technology:4, Book published by Applied Science Publishers Ltd., England, Edited by R. W. Nichols, 1983.
For decades, elastic analyses have been used to design steam boilers and pressure vessels. The design was considered acceptable provided that the stresses averaged through the wall of the vessel did not exceed allowable limits. Simple formulae were given in the Codes to obtain these stresses by hand calculations.

Corrective coefficients were also provided to include the effects of bending, as, for example, in the case of dished ends or plates. Since the major concern was focused on limiting average membrane stresses, the relations used to calculate stresses for comparison with the allowables were the same for elevated temperature service as for temperature service below the creep regime. The need for additional checking of the effects of bending and thermal stresses was left to the individual judgement of the designer.

In most cases, the calculations were simply restricted to mechanical load effects mainly related to pressure stresses. The allowable values of stress given in the Code were intended to provide sufficient safety margins to compensate for inaccuracies and omissions of such evaluations. These design-by-formula methods used used the maximum stress criteria still in common use. It is recognized that, even for vessels where creep can be ignored, the use of such design methods should be restricted to thin wall structures where thermal stresses are of negligible importance and where the assumption of quasi-steady loading provides a good engineering approximation.

The critical importance of fatigue as the limiting failure mode of most pressure vessels has only recently been fully recognized. The design-by-formula approach does not control fatigue damage since such damage is caused by local stress and strain conditions not considered in the membrane stress formula. The local maximum range of von Mises shear strain is the most important determinant of low cycle fatigue damage, with the local stress conditions contributing to a mean stress effect.

“Creep Tensile Instability” W. J. O’Donnell and J. S. Porowski, presented at the Fourth International Conference on Pressure Vessel Technology, London, England, Proceedings, May 1980.

“More Efficient Creep Ratcheting Bounds” J. S. Porowski and W. J. O’Donnell, ORNL Report 7322/1, October 1978.
The O’Donnell-Porowski upper bound solutions for creep ratcheting are extended to include material hardening effects and temperature- dependent yield properties. Energy methods are introduced in order to obtain more efficient bounds for loading histograms involving a limited number of severe cycles in the plastic ratcheting regime, interspersed with cycling of lesser magnitude.

“Creep Ratcheting Bounds for Piping Systems with Seismic Loading” J. S. Porowski and W. J. O’Donnell, presented at ASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference, San Francisco, California, June 1979.

“A Simplified Design Procedure for Life Prediction of Rocket Thrust Chambers” J. S. Porowski, W. J. O’Donnell, M. L. Badlani, B. Kasraie, and H. J. Kasper, presented at AIAA/ASME/SAE Joint Propulsion Conference, Cleveland, Ohio, AIAA Paper 82-1251, June 21-23, 1982.
An analytical procedure for predicting thrust chamber life is developed.

“Fatigue and Creep Rupture Damage of Perforated Plates Subjected to Cyclic Plastic Straining in Creep Regime” M. L. Badlani, T. Tanaka, J. S. Porowski, and W. J. O’Donnell, Welding Research Council Bulletin No, 307, August 1985.

“On Design of Discontinuities in Structures for Elevated Temperature Service” G. Baylac, B. Kasraie, J. S. Porowski, W. J. O’Donnell, and M. L. Badlani, Eighth International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology, SMIRT Transactions, Vol. L, August 19:23, 1985.
A typical structural discontinuity represented by a stepped cylindrical shell, subjected to internal pressure and temperature transient is analyzed. Solutions based on elastic core concept are applied in order to obtain bounds on accumulated strains. It is shown how the obtained bounds can be used with results of elastic analysis to provide evaluation of the maximum strain component in the discontinuity region.

Back to Publications

“Proposed New ASME Code Rules for Elastic Creep-Fatigue Evaluations” W. J. O’Donnell, IMechE Seminar on Recent Advances in Design Procedures for High Temperature Plant, United Kingdom, November 1988.
New creep fatigue evaluation rules have been developed by the ASME Code Subgroup on Elevated Temperature Design for use in ASME Code Case N-47 for Class 1 Components in Elevated Temperature Service. These rules include major technical changes based on extensive committee reviews, comparisons with experimental data, evaluation versus cyclic inelastic finite element analysis, and comparison with actual failure experience at the Eddystone Plant.

“Creep Ratcheting Bounds Based on Elastic Core Concept” J. S. Porowski and W. J. O’Donnell
The concept of an elastic core near the middle of the wall at any location in a component subjected to cyclic loading in the presence of creep was introduced by the authors to obtain bounds on the creep ratcheting strains at that location. The concept was quite useful since only elastic and creep strains could occur in the elastic core. Detailed solutions were obtained for elastic- perfectly plastic cylinders subjected to internal pressure and cyclic thru-the- wall thermal stresses.

(PDF) “Bounds on Creep Ratcheting in ASME Code” J. S. Porowski, M. L. Badlani, and W. J. O’Donnell, 1989 PVP Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 23-27, 1989.
For more than a decade, simplified methods for bounding creep ratcheting strains have been used in the ASME Code to design components for elevated temperature service. The background and a brief history of the development of the rules is given. Current simplified methods in Code Case N-47 are applicable for complex cycling load histories including severe cycles which may result in plastic strain increments.

“Regulatory Safety Issues in the Structural Design Criteria of ASME Section III Subsection NH and for Very High Temperatures for VHTR & Gen IV” William J. O’Donnell and Donald S. Griffen, ASME Stndards Technology, LLC, May 7, 2007
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRC) and Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) issues which were raised in conjunction with the licensing of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor (CRBR) provide the best early indication of regulatory licensing issues for high-temperature reactors.

(PDF) “Temperature Dependence of Reactor Water Environmental Fatigue Effects on Carbon, Low Alloy and Austenitic Stainless Steels” William J. O’Donnell & William John O’Donnell, Proceedings of the 2008 ASME PVP Conference, July 27-31, 2008, Chicago, IL.
Recent studies of the environmental fatigue data for carbon, low alloy and austenitic stainless steels have shown that reactor water effects are significantly less deleterious as temperatures are reduced below 350 oC (662 oF). At temperatures below 150 C (302 F) the reduction in life due to reactor water environmental effects is less than a factor of 2, and the existing ASME Code Section III fatigue design curves for air can be used. The latter include a factor of 20 on cycles whereas the ASME Subgroup on Fatigue Strength (SGFS) has determined that a factor of 10 should be used on the mean failure curves which include reactor water effects. These factors account for scatter in the data, surface finish effects, size effects, and environmental effects.
Reactor water environmental degradation dependence on temperature is determined using variations of the statistical models developed by Chopra and Shack, Higuchi, Iida, Asada, Nakamura, Van Der Sluys, Yukawa, Mehta, Leax and Gosselin, references 1 through 22. Comparisons of the resulting proposed environmental fatigue design criteria with reactor water environmental fatigue data are made. These comparisons show that the Code factors of 2 and 20 on stress and cycles are maintained for air environments, and the 2 and 10 code factors are maintained for the reactor water environments. Environmental fatigue criteria are given for both worst case strain rates and for arbitrary strain rates. These design criteria do not require the designer to consider sequence of loading, hold times, transient rates, and other operating details which may change during 60 years of plant operation.

“Creep Tensile Instability” W. J. O’Donnell and J. S. Porowski, presented at the Fourth International Conference on Pressure Vessel Technology, London, England, Proceedings, May 1980.

“Creep Rupture Materials Design Manual” William J. O’Donnell, Carl Spaeder, Jeremy Himes, William J. O’Donnell, B. Kasraie, October, 2008
This creep rupture design manual was developed as a guide to maximize the efficiency of a sterling cycle engine for power generation.

“Future Code Needs for Very High Temperature Generation IV Reactors” William J. O’Donnell and Donald S. Griffen, Chapter 59, ASME Companion Guide to the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Vol. 3, Third Edition, 2009
This chapter (1) identifies the structural integrity issues in the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, including Section II, Section III, Subsection NH (Class I Components in Elevated Temperature Service), Section VIII, and Code Cases that must be resolved to support licensing of Generation IV (Gen IV) nuclear reactors, particularly very high very temperature gas-cooled reactors; (2) describes how the Code addresses these issues; and (3) identifies the needs for additional criteria to cover unresolved structural integrity concerns for very high temperature service.


Bill O’Donnell, Sr. is active on the ASME Subgroup on Elevated Temperature Design, and the Subcommittee on Design – as well as a Contributing Member of the ASME (BPV III) Working Group on Fatigue Strength.

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