Minimum-Weight Proportions of Pressure-Vessel Heads

[+] Author and Article Information
G. A. Hoffman

Aero-Astronautics Department, The RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif.

J. Appl. Mech 29(4), 662-668 (Dec 01, 1962) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3640651 History: Received January 13, 1961; Online September 16, 2011


This paper derives the minimum-weight shapes of head closures for cylindrical pressure vessels. Head configurations, weights, and membrane stresses are obtained for thin-shell heads of isotropic materials with uniform internal pressure by restricting the knuckle shear stresses to constant values where possible and by minimizing the weight of prescribed-shape heads. Torispherical, ellipsoidal, and Biezeno-type heads with constant and varying thickness (neglecting the effects of bending) are investigated. Enclosed-volume constancy and supporting structures are also considered. Certain highly efficient shapes are obtained that weigh up to 11 per cent less than the corresponding hemispherical capping closure.

Copyright © 1962 by ASME
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