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Assessing Brittle Fracture in Pressurized Equipment Using a FAD

[+] Author Affiliations
David R. Thornton

The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., Shaker Heights, OH

Paper No. PVP2008-61407, pp. 753-760; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 1: Codes and Standards
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 27–31, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4824-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3828-5
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


While the probability of brittle fracture in pressurized equipment has typically been rare, the consequences are usually unacceptable from a risk standpoint. This article first briefly reviews the method used to prevent brittle fracture in new equipment used by most codes. The article then presents the approaches of increasing complexity to preventing brittle fracture in existing equipment with an emphasis on the fracture mechanics approach and the use of a Failure Assessment Diagram (FAD). Two examples are discussed, one of determining the maximum acceptable flaw size for a given operating scenario and the other of determining an acceptable operating envelope for a given flaw size.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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