Design equation (4.3.1) for the minimum required thickness of a cylindrical shell subjected to internal pressure in Part 4 “design by rule (DBR)” of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section VIII, Division 2  is based on the Tresca Yield Criterion, while design by analysis (DBA) in Part 5 of the Division 2 Code is based on the von Mises Yield Criterion. According to ASME PTB-1 “ASME Section VIII – Division 2 Criteria and Commentary”, the difference in results is about 15% due to use of the two different criteria. Although the von Mises Yield Criterion will result in a shell wall thickness less than that from Tresca Yield Criterion, Part 4 (DBR) of ASME Division 2 adopts the latter for a more convenient design equation. To use the von Mises Criterion in lieu of Tresca to reduce shell wall thickness, one has to follow DBA rules in Part 5 of Division 2, which typically requires detailed numeric analysis performed by experienced stress analysts.
This paper proposes a simple design equation for the minimum required thickness of a cylindrical shell subjected to internal pressure based on the von Mises Yield Criterion. The equation is suitable for both thin and thick cylindrical shells. Calculation results from the equation are validated by results from limit load analyses in accordance with Part 5 of ASME Division 2 Code.