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Risk-based inspection is becoming the cornerstone of modern practice in ensuring the integrity of engineering structures and components in a cost effective manner. The approach relies heavily on experience, insight and awareness of the likelihood of crack initiation and on models to predict the evolution of crack size. Environment assisted cracking poses a particular problem because of the sensitivity to transients and excursions in service behaviour and because models of crack growth kinetics, both empirical and deterministic, have significant limitations. A number of the existing issues in prediction are highlighted with recommendations for future development.
Risk based inspection, environment assisted cracking, modelling, pitting, hydrogen embrittlement
Head, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex,