Evaluation of the Ultimate Pressure Capacity of Rectangular HVAC Ducts for Nuclear Power Plants

by Bendt W. Wedellsborg, Bechtel Power Corp, San Francisco, CA, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Nuclear Facilities

Abstract: Structural design criteria are presently based on the AISI Code which limits the duct panel width-to-thickness ratio to a maximum of 500 and the maximum height-to-thickness ratio to 200, unless it can be shown by structural tests that larger ratios can be used. Test Programs performed on rectangular HVAC ducts subjected to vacuum loads have substantiated the use of ducts having panel width to thickness ratios of up to 1600. The results of the test programs were subsequenty incorporated into the design through a more rational analytical design method which was developed from and correlates well with the test results. The purpose of this paper is to present the analytical design method and its correlation with the test results. Simple formulae for the design of rectangular HVAC ducts are presented. Lower bound values of duct sheet, and stiffener ultimate loads are derived, and correlated with recent test results. Analytically predicted ultimate pressures are also compared with other available duct test data.

Subject Headings: Duct | Load tests | Power plants | Panels (structural) | Load factors | Nuclear power

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