Proportions of Pressure-Vessel Heads Designed for Minimum Weight by the Mises Yield Criterion.

by George A. Hoffman

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A derivation of the minimal-weight shapes of head closures for long, cylindrical pressure vessels, such as rocket tanks and pressurized fuselages. For thin-shell heads of isotropic materials with uniform internal pressure, head geometries, weights, and stresses are calculated by restricting tensile stresses to the plasticity ellipsis--the limiting curve of yielding. Ellipsoidal and torispherical domes of varying thickness are derived by considering membrane stresses only, these highly efficient shapes being shallower and weighing up to 15 percent less than the corresponding hemispherical capping closure.

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