The Importance Of Hoop Stress Calculations In Engineering

Stress calculations have a very important place in mechanical engineering. For different applications, different kinds of methods are developed throughout the history of engineering. Hoop stress calculations are developed for different applications. Especially for safety calculations. 

What Is Hoop Stress In Engineering?

Iron straps which are used to strengthen the thin tube railway bridge pillar.

Hoop stress is a type of circumferential stress that occurs at the surface of the thin-walled structures, because of the inner pressure application. So, there are tons of engineering applications that hoop stress takes place. 

In Which Applications That Hoop Stress Is Used?

Effect of hoop stresses on thin cylinder walls(Image Source:

There are a bunch of mechanical applications that hoop stress calculations must be used to obtain a safe physical system when it is used in full-load. So, hoop stress calculation is a very important engineering discipline. Engineers must take care of these calculations perfectly, for the applications mentioned below. 

Steam Boilers

Inner tubings of a steam locomotive.

Steam boilers are commonly used on different sides of buildings. If they are not designed properly and safely, it will be very dangerous to fail and will be very harmful to the environment and human life. 

The structure of the boilers can be approximated as a thin-walled hollow structure filled with water or other fluid. And because of the heat and pressure of the fluid inside these steam boilers, the outer wall must be designed to withstand these very high stresses. These high stresses are hoop stresses that take place as tensile stresses that parallel to the axis of the boiler geometry. This hoop stress is caused by the internal pressure stress of the fluid.

In this case, hoop stress calculations are used to obtain a safe design of the steam boilers. 

Pressure Tanks And Containers

Big pressure gas tanks in a refinery.

Pressure tanks and containers are used extensively in every part of human life such as, big LNG tankers on LNG ships, fuel tanks beneath the fuel stations, oxygen containers that are used in hospitals and welding departments… And there are other various examples that pressure tanks and containers are used both in engineering and daily life. 

It is simple to imagine the hoop stresses occur at the walls of the pressure tanks due to the pressure of the fluid, gas, or air inside the container. 

A safe design must be calculated for these pressure tanks and containers also. These calculations are made with hoop stress calculation formulae. 

Not Very Thick Wall, Optimized Thickness Of The Wall!

The thickness of the wall must be optimized. The thickness of the wall must be thick enough to be safe from failure because of the inner pressure. And the thickness of the wall must be thin as possible because of the commercial concerns. 

As an engineer, you need to do this optimization for your company that produces pressure containers or tanks. There are other commercial opponents of your company that produces these products. Your product must compete with other products in terms of price/performance. 

Hoop Stress Calculations

The calculation principles of the hoop stresses that occur in these engineering structures are very simple. You can take a look at the hoop stress calculator that Mechanical Base is provided to its visitors! Also, you can find the explanation of the hoop stress formulae in that article in Mechanical Base. 


Do not forget to leave your comments and questions below about the applications of hoop stress in engineering below! 

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