This paper proposes a new finite element method for treating the stress analysis of a piping system under general loading conditions. This finite element method will be referred as the finite ring method, since its elements are ring-shaped. This finite ring treatment is based on the general thin shell theory incorporating shear and distributed deformations along the pipe length. In this paper, emphasis is given to the theoretical aspects of the method. A comparison with other experimental and theoretical results is presented to substantiate the validity of the present method.

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