Cylindrical Gas Pressure Vessels
on Rail Car


A rail car needs to transport pressurized gas and due to shipping constraints, each cylinder can have only a diameter of 34 cm (inside dimension). The end caps are not considered in this initial design.

What is known:

  • Internal pressure is 10 MPa.
  • Inside diameter of a single vessel is 34 cm.
  • Yield (allowable) stress for the steel shell is 250 MPa.
  • Factor of Safety is 2.0.
  • The vessels should be designed to meet the maximum distortion energy criteria for predicting failure.



What is the minimum wall thickness in the cylindrical section of the gas pressure vessel?


  • Determine the hoop and axial stresses as a function of the thickness.
  • Apply the factor of safety.
  • Use the maximum distortion energy criteria equation to determine the wall thickness.
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