The study introduces a concept of contact stress analysis to the local stress calculation of plate and shell structures in pressure vessels. A new computational method for local stresses is proposed in the light of the contact between pad and shell and the compatibility at the pad edges due to the fillet weld. Using the developed program of the contact stress analysis of plates and shells, which is based on the flexibility mixed FEM, the authors have studied the contact stresses of a saddle support model and local stresses of a suspended tower structure which cannot be achieved with old methods. The theoretical calculations coincide well with the experimental results.

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