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FORCE AND STRESS

Pipe routed in straight lines cost the least. Normally, pipe cannot be routed straight because of
thermal expansion.
Stretching a pipe even a small amount takes a very large force. Preventing pipe from expanding
thermally takes an equally large force.

Stress =

=
Area A

Allowable stresses vary with material and temperature, but, are on an order of magnitude of:
(a) Pressure = 1,000 to 10,000 psi (6900KPa to 69000KPa_70 Kg / cm 2 to 700 Kg / cm 2 )
(b) Deadload = 1,000 to 10,000 psi (6900KPa to 69000KPa 70 Kg / cm 2 to 700 Kg / cm 2 )
(c) Thermal = to 20,000 psi (to 138000KPa_ to 1400 Kg / cm 2 )
The material engineer checks pressure stresses when calculating wall thicknesses.
Dead load stresses are controlled by proper use of the pipe span charts and checked by the stress
engineer when required.
Thermal expansion stresses are roughly determined by piping during the pipe study and finally
checked by the stress engineer.

500Kg

40mm DIA rod

area = 12.56cm 2

2 SCH. 40

area = 6.93cm 2
9000Kg

S=

F 9000
=
= 716.56 Kg / cm 2
A 12.56

S=

F 500
=
= 72 .15 / cm 2
A 6.93

Experiments on different materials at different temperatures determine safe stresses. These values
are given in the piping code (ASME B31.3_APPENDIX A).

Strain (Stretching)
is the "unit strain" and is found by dividing the total stretching by the total length being stretched.

30m

0.3m stretch

0.3
= 0.001 (*)
30

(*) Please, use same units of length for numerator and denominator.

Young's Modulus
E (Young's Modulus) relates the amount of strain (stretching) to the amount of stress (loading). It is
defined as:

E=

The value of E changes with material and temperature. The stress and strain are measured
experimentally. E is calculated and is tabulated in the piping code.
E = 30,000,000 psi ( 2 x10 8 KPa ; 2.1x10 6 Kg / cm 2 ) for Cold Steel
Normally designed anchors cannot stand large forces because the structure would bend first, and
the anchor would not be effective Equipment shells would dimple before they would act as
anchors.
Expansions are absorbed by bending the piping system rather than compressing it.

Thermal Force Between Two Anchors

Free Expansion = eL
Where is thermal expansion in (mm); e is expansion rate in/100ft (mm/m); L is expansion rate in
(mm).
The force required to prevent the pipe from expanding is the same as the force required to stretch
it an equal amount.
Since S =

F
A

and E =

and =

To find F (the force),

F = SA = EA = E

eL

A=E
A = EeA
L
L

Example:
For a 6" Sch. 40 Pipe in C.S material at 149C

E = 2.1x10 6 Kg / cm 2 (see B31.3 table C-6) ; e = 1.516 x10 3 mm / mm (see B31.3 table C-1) ;
A = 36cm 2 (see characteristic of pipe)
F = 2.1x10 6 1.516 x10 3 36 = 114609.6 Kg

Thermal force on a L-shape pipe fixed at one extremity and guided at

other extremity.
Example:

30m
6 SCH 40
C.S. at 260C

6m
Bending leg

To calculate the force against the guide it is possible to use the guided cantilever method:

F=

3EI

L3

Where

E = 2.1x10 6 Kg / cm 2 (from B31.3 table C-6) ;

= 3.02 30 = 90.5mm (from B31.3 table C-1) ;
I = 1172cm 4 (From pipe characteristic table)
L=6m

F = 309 Kg
The force against the anchor (indicated by the dotted arrow) is equal to but is pushing in the
opposite direction.

Thermal force on a Z-shape pipe fixed at both extremities.

6 SCH 40
C.S. at 316C

6m

7m
5m

Direction
A
B

Expansion (mm)
11x3.83=42.13
7x3.83=26.81

Leg (m)
7
11

Force (Kg)
91
15

Bending leg for T.F. (Thermal Force) B is the sum of lengths at right angles to the expansion in the
direction of B.

vessel.
vB

C.S. material at
371C - pipe 8
sch.40

4m

5m

5m

Direction
A
B

Expansion (mm)
5x4.69=23.4
7x4.69=32.8

2m

Leg (m)
5
9

Force (Kg)
356
86

Radial expansion must be added for vertical vessel.

Anchor end of horizontal vessel must be taken into account. If the anchor end and slotted end
were reversed, then T.F.A. (thermal force) would be:
Direction
A

Expansion (mm)
9x4.69=42.2

Leg (m)
5

Force (Kg)
642

Reversal of anchor end of horizontal vessel causes an increase in anchor force.

Anchor movements are okay to incorporate this way since shell material and temperature are the
same as the pipe.

23m
8m

10m

8m
5m

S.S. line T =177C 10 sch 20 I = 4736cm 4 (see pipe char. Table)

Direction
A
B

Expansion (mm)
23x2.66=61.3
8x2.66=21.3

Leg (m)
8
15

The guide acts as an anchor for forces in "B" direction, but not in "A" direction.

4m

5m

300mm

8m
500mm

2m
300mm

Force (Kg)
357
Less than 100

Force and expansion calculations are the same in plan or elevation.

1. Pump nozzle is not used for flexibility.
2. Pump expansion is included in total expansion.
3. Moving the anchor end is mandatory.
4. Nozzle projections are not used for flexibility here. The stress engineer may include them.
The stress and force are checked afterwards, and flexibility is increased only if necessary.

Direction
Horizontal
Vertical

Expansion (mm)
1.52x9=13.7
1.52x7.7=11.7

Leg (m)
6.9
5

Force (Kg)
31
70

STRESS

The formula for calculating stress is (see basic beam formulas):

S=

3ED
L2

Where:
S = Stress in PSI ( Kg / cm 2 - KPa)
E = Modulus of Elasticity
= Thermal Growth
D = Pipe Diameter
L = Length of Bending Leg
Guides and anchors have the same effect as in the force calculations. Small diameter piping
becomes over stressed before large forces are developed. Large diameter piping creates
excessive forces before the piping becomes overstressed.

Example:
10m

8m

6m
5m
6m

20 C.S. - material
T=204C
6m