Offshore structures are generally constructed as frameworks of tubular members. The tubular joints should be designed to allow the full post yield or post buckled capacity of the members. However, design guidelines for ultimate strength capacity of these joints are based exclusively upon compilations of test data for simple configurations under simple loading conditions. A methodology based upon the finite element method is presented for analytically predicting the ultimate strength of arbitrary tubular joints. Eight node, isoparametric, curved shell elements were used for the majority of the tubular joint model. Twenty node, isoparametric, solid elements were used to capture the three‐dimensional stress state at the shell intersection while fifteen node, isoparametric, wedge elements modelled the weld profile. Solid‐shell transition elements provided the connection between the three‐dimensional solid elements and the surface based shell elements. Non‐linearities were included via an elastoplastic material model with isotropic strain hardening and the updated Lagrangian approach for finite deflections and rotations. Several experimental tubular joint analyses were reproduced to validate the analytical procedure. Non‐linear finite element analysis was shown to be a practical approach for the evaluation and extension of current design procedures for tubular joints.
COFER, W.F. and WILL, K.M. (1992), "A FINITE ELEMENT TECHNIQUE FOR THE ULTIMATE STRENGTH ANALYSIS OF TUBULAR JOINTS", Engineering Computations, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 345-358. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb023871
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