A review of literature for the structural assessment of mitred bends

Wood, J. (2008) A review of literature for the structural assessment of mitred bends. International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping, 85 (5). pp. 275-294. ISSN 0308-0161

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    This paper presents a state-of-the-art review of literature available for the structural assessment of all types of mitred pipe bends. Compared with smooth bends, the volume of literature available for mitres is less extensive and its scope is not as wide. Historically, this reflects a reduced application level, as well as a less demanding range of applications, such as non-high temperature use. There is also the issue that an analysis of a mitred bend is complicated by discontinuity stresses, as well as those due to cross-section ovalisation. This fact delayed the development of non-linear analysis of mitred bends. Nevertheless, there is now a substantial body of work on mitred bends. This review tabulates and characterises all publications to date in chronological order. The details of experimental specimens are highlighted, with a view to these perhaps providing useful verification data for any future finite element analysis for example. Issues of particular interest to pipework designers are discussed, including the effects of combinations of loading, out-of-circularity, tangent pipe length and flanges. Failure characteristics and loads are discussed where relevant. Topics for further research are also noted. For example, comprehensive design curves do not exist for the elastic and plastic behaviour of all mitre types, over a practical range of geometry and loading parameters. Similarly, there is still scope for further work on the effect of combined loading, end effects and out-of-circularity. Limit, collapse and burst loads are not yet available across the entire spectrum of bends and loading parameters either. Creep and optimisation represent virgin territory as far as mitred bends are concerned and given that unforeseen vibration is a common source of high-cycle fatigue failure in pipework, there must also be scope for vibration-induced fatigue studies.