Finite Element Analysis

FEA Using FE Pipe Software

SANTAMARIA ENGINEERING offers Finite Element Analysis (FEA) services as of March 2015 using FE/Pipe software.  ASME Section VIII Div 2 code stresses are calculated with more precision than the typical beam element analysis used in pipe stress analysis software.  The software also enhances our pipe stress analysis services as it is capable of calculating more accurate Stress Intensification Factors (SIF’s) which have been verified through recent experimentation by Paulin Research Group (PRG) to be either unconservative or too conservative, depending on the application. Although FEA may only be necessary for “critical “ pipe systems (defined by PRG as > 3,000 cycles [P or T], or attached to rotating equipment, or piping with higher stresses, etc.), it is invaluable for the ability to back up our pipe stress analysis modeling.


The following is a partial list of the FE/Pipe software calculations available:

  • More accurate SIF’s than the current ASME calculations available in the B31 codes.
  • SIF’s on laterals.  SIF’s on piping elbows (D/T > 100), as well as reinforced tees
  • Accurate flexibility factors for smaller branches which can be more than 5 times higher than the code calculated flexibilities (Code is over-conservative).  Also for D/T > 50.
  • Stresses, SIF’s and flexibilities on trunnion/elbow (or pipe) interfaces
  • Vacuum condition and reinforcement ring evaluation
  • Vessel nozzle load verification, flexibilities and SIF’s (where WRC-107 cannot be used)
  • Eigenvalue buckling and plasticity
  • API-579 Fitness for Service Evaluation
  • ASME Section III Part NH High Creep / Creep Fatigue interactions
  • WRC 474 Fatigue Analysis


Fernando Santamaria carried out a four day training course at the PRG facility in Houston in October of 2015 and has the following FEA experience to date: 

  • Pressure vessel nozzle load calculations for Code compliance
  • SIF calculations for “Y” fittings (laterals)
  • SIF’s and stress calculations on elbow-pipe/trunnion interfaces.
  • Verification of anchor design (detailed)