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Natural Flaw Shape Development Due to Stress Corrosion Cracking

[+] Author Affiliations
D. Rudland, D.-J. Shim

Engineering Mechanics Corporation of Columbus, Columbus, OH

A. Csontos

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C.

Paper No. PVP2008-61205, pp. 1093-1100; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 27–31, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4829-6
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME and U.S. Government


Typical ASME Section XI subcritical cracking analyses assume an idealized flaw shape driven by stress intensity factors developed for semi-elliptical shaped flaws. Recent advanced finite element analyses (AFEA) conducted by both the US NRC and the nuclear industry for long circumferential indications found in the pressurizer nozzle dissimilar metal welds at the Wolf Creek power plant, suggest that the semi-elliptical flaw assumption may be overly conservative in some cases. The AFEA methodology that was developed allowed the progression of a planar flaw subjected to typical SCC-type growth laws by calculating stress intensity factors at every nodal point along the crack front, and incrementally advancing the crack front in a more natural manner. Typically crack growth analyses increment the semi-elliptical flaw by considering only the stress intensity factor at the deepest and surface locations along the crack front, while keeping the flaw shape semi-elliptical. In this paper, a brief background to the AFEA methodology and the analyses conducted in the Wolf Creek effort will be discussed. In addition, the natural behavior of surface cracks under normal operating conditions (plus welding residual stress) will be investigated and compared to the semi-elliptical assumption. Conclusions on the observation of when semi-elliptical flaw assumptions are appropriate will be made. These observations will add insight into the conservatism of using an idealized flaw shape assumption.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME and U.S. Government



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