A Pressure Vessel Hatch Cover Failure: A Design Analysis

    Published: Jan 1986

      Format Pages Price  
    PDF (484K) 19 $25   ADD TO CART
    Complete Source PDF (8.9M) 19 $73   ADD TO CART


    This case study involves a hatch cover located on a pressurized barge unloading concrete. The hatch cover exploded as a workman was kicking off one of the locking cams holding the cover to the deck. The cover, attached to the barge by a hinge, utilized six locking cams to hold the pressure seal to the compartment. The cover was 0.51 metres in diameter and fabricated from A356-T6 aluminum. The pressure to off-load the cement was 206.8 kPa. A finite element study was performed to determine the stresses in the cover as a function of locking geometry. Fracture toughness tests to determine KIc, a nondestructive inspection to determine crack size and crack population, and a design study to determine pressure vessel design characteristics were undertaken. A failure analysis was also conducted. Results of the studies indicate that the design choices (internal piping, hatch cover attachment, and material selection) allowed a potentially catastrophic situation to develop. Recommendations for design improvements are given.


    pressure vessel, design, failure analysis, fracture mechanics, finite element analysis, mechanical properties, aluminum, fractography

    Author Information:

    Kaplan, MP
    Consulting engineers, Willis, Kaplan & Associates, Inc., Arlington Heights, IL

    Willis, T
    Consulting engineers, Willis, Kaplan & Associates, Inc., Arlington Heights, IL

    Barnett, RL
    Chairman, Triodyne, Inc., Niles, IL

    Committee/Subcommittee: E08.08

    DOI: 10.1520/STP19326S

    CrossRef ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.