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Limit and shakedown theorems are exact theories of classical plasticity for the direct computation of safety factors or of the load carrying capacity under constant and varying loads. Simple versions of limit and shakedown analysis are the basis of all design codes for pressure vessels and pipings. Using Finite Element Methods more realistic modeling can be used for a more rational design. The methods can be extended to yield optimum plastic design. In this paper we present a first implementation in FE of limit and shakedown analyses for perfectly plastic material. Limit and shakedown analyses are done of a pipe–junction and a interaction diagram is calculated. The results are in good correspondence with the analytic solution we give in the appendix.

The structural reliability with respect to plastic collapse or to inadaptation is formulated on the basis of the lower bound limit and shakedown theorems. A direct definition of the limit state function is achieved which permits the use of the highly effective first order reliability methods (FORM) is achieved. The theorems are implemented into a general purpose FEM program in a way capable of large-scale analysis. The limit state function and its gradient are obtained from a mathematical optimization problem. This direct approach reduces considerably the necessary knowledge of uncertain technological input data, the computing time, and the numerical error, leading to highly effective and precise reliability analyses.

The load-carrying capacity or the safety against plastic limit states are the central questions in the design of structures and passive components in the apparatus engineering. A precise answer is most simply given by limit and shakedown analysis. These methods can be based on static and kinematic theorems for lower and upper bound analysis. Both may be formulated as optimization problems for finite element discretizations of structures. The problems of large-scale analysis and the extension towards realistic material modelling will be solved in a European research project. Limit and shakedown analyses are briefly demonstrated with illustrative examples.

This paper presents the direct route to Design by Analysis (DBA) of the new European pressure vessel standard in the language of limit and shakedown analysis (LISA). This approach leads to an optimization problem. Its solution with Finite Element Analysis is demonstrated for some examples from the DBA-Manual. One observation from the examples is, that the optimisation approach gives reliable and close lower bound solutions leading to simple and optimised design decision.

Limit and shakedown analysis are effective methods for assessing the load carrying capacity of a given structure. The elasto–plastic behavior of the structure subjected to loads varying in a given load domain is characterized by the shakedown load factor, defined as the maximum factor which satisfies the sufficient conditions stated in the corresponding static shakedown theorem. The finite element dicretization of the problem may lead to very large convex optimization. For the effective solution a basis reduction method has been developed that makes use of the special problem structure for perfectly plastic material. The paper proposes a modified basis reduction method for direct application to the two-surface plasticity model of bounded kinematic hardening material. The considered numerical examples show an enlargement of the load carrying capacity due to bounded hardening.

Limit loads can be calculated with the finite element method (FEM) for any component, defect geometry, and loading. FEM suggests that published long crack limit formulae for axial defects under-estimate the burst pressure for internal surface defects in thick pipes while limit loads are not conservative for deep cracks and for pressure loaded crack-faces. Very deep cracks have a residual strength, which is modelled by a global collapse load. These observations are combined to derive new analytical local and global collapse loads. The global collapse loads are close to FEM limit analyses for all crack dimensions.