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Limit Analysis of a Pipe Section With Non-Uniform Wall Thinning

[+] Author Affiliations
Keshab K. Dwivedy

Dominion Generation, Glen Allen, VA

Paper No. PVP2002-1320, pp. 145-148; 4 pages
  • ASME 2002 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Fitness for Service Evaluations and Non-Linear Analysis
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 5–9, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4653-9
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


Certain process piping in nuclear and non-nuclear power plants undergo pipe wall thinning due to flow assisted corrosion (FAC). This localized mechanism of corrosion combined with erosion is complex. The potential degradation of the pipe wall depends upon the water chemistry, operating temperature and pressure, flow velocity, piping material and piping configuration. The management of FAC in a power plant is performed in the following basic steps: Identification of potential locations, UT inspection of locations and characterization of pipe wall thinning, and evaluation of wall thinning to establish structural integrity and/or repair/replacement. The section of the pipe is repaired or replaced if the structural integrity cannot be established until next scheduled inspection. In the past 15 years, FAC programs have been established in nuclear power plants. Structural integrity evaluation is a part of the program. Simplified methods and rules are established in ASME Section XI code and in several code cases for verifying structural integrity. Pressure design methods are formalized for uniform and non-uniform wall thinning. However, the limit analysis methods for moment loading in the code rules are formulated for uniform thinning of the wall for simplicity. FAC related wall thinning is truly non-uniform, and treating it as non-uniform in the analysis can show additional structural margin compared to analysis conservatively assuming a uniformly thinned wall. This paper has developed simple analytical formulation of limit load carrying capability of a pipe section with non-uniform thinning. The method of analysis is illustrated with examples of actual plant situations. The formulation developed here can be used with the ASME code method to extend remaining life of FAC degraded components until the plant can plan for repair or replacement. Thus the analytical tool can help the plant owners to save resources by performing repair and replacement in a planned manner.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Pipes



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