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Flaw Tolerance for Multiple Fatigue Cracks

[+] Author Affiliations
S. R. Gosselin, F. A. Simonen

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA

R. G. Carter

EPRI, Charlotte, NC

Paper No. PVP2005-71141, pp. 73-86; 14 pages
  • ASME 2005 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, July 17–21, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4191-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3763-7
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Appendix L of Section XI provides for serviceability assessments of piping components that are subject to fatigue stresses. This appendix introduced a damage tolerance examination strategy to assure that components perform reliably throughout operating periods between inspections. Operating periods are based on fatigue crack growth analyses of postulated pre-existing cracks. Evidence from service experience shows that fatigue cracking occurrences at operating nuclear power plants often result from mechanisms that cause cracks to initiate and then grow at multiple locations on the inside surface of a pipe, becoming longer and deeper, and eventually linking to form a single long crack. This paper documents important details of the technical bases for changes to Appendix L. Calculations identified aspect ratios for equivalent single cracks (ESC) between the extremes of a 6:1 ratio and a full circumferential crack that can be used in Appendix L flaw tolerance assessments to account for the initiation, growth, and linking of multiple fatigue cracks. Probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) calculations determined ESC aspect ratios that result in the same through-wall crack probability as multiple small cracks (0.02 inch depth) that initiate and coalesce. The computations considered two materials (stainless and low alloy steels), three pipe diameters, five cyclic membrane-to-gradient stress ratios and a wide range of primary loads. Subsequent deterministic calculations identified the ESC aspect ratio for the hypothetical reference flaw depth assumptions in Appendix L. This paper also describes computations that compare the Appendix L flaw tolerance allowable operating period for the ESC models with results obtained when a single default 6:1 aspect ratio reference flaw.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Fatigue cracks



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