Abstract – This paper presents a unified methodology of combining heuristic fuzzy design and FEM verification to design optimally vessels with a branch joint. This method is applicable to steels and composites. Background for this study is the recognized need for constructing vessels with branch tubes needed for processing liquids and gases with minimal ecological and maintenance problems. The methodology of fuzzy optimum design is used. The goals and constrains are expressed in a consistent formulation. First, design variables like wall thickness are defined discretely within ranges. Then decision variables are formulated like cost and safety factors. The total goal is maximization of the end user satisfaction on the design. It is product of satisfaction functions of decision variables. The stresses are calculated by reasonable free body models and notch factors. Two steels are studied, a basic low strength steel (LS) and a high strength steel (HS). At low pressure p=0.1 MPa the LS vessel is 4.2 times more satisfactory than the HS vessel. At higher pressure p=1 the LS vessel is 0.4 times less satisfactory than HS vessel. An analytical stress result agrees reasonably with FEM results at a test pressure. The optimal choice depends not only on economics and technology but also on the societal and environmental changes and megatrends. This methodology can be used to explore novel concepts.
Keywords: pressure vessel, fuzzy optimum design, steels, fatigue.
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