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    A Study of the Initiation and Growth of Complex Cracks in Nuclear Piping Under Pure Bending


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    In this study the validity of various analyses in the prediction of crack initiation, maximum load, and the corresponding displacements for 168-mm (6.625-in.)-diameter circumferentially complex-cracked pipe under pure bending was assessed. The results of six pipe fracture experiments on three materials (SA-376 TP304 stainless steel, Inconel 600, and A106 Grade B carbon steel) were used to verify the accuracy of these analytical predictions. All experiments were conducted at 288C (550F).

    Two different sets of analyses were conducted using J-R curves and J-estimation schemes. J-resistance (J-R) curves were calculated from each pipe experiment using the -factor method. These results revealed that the J-R curves from the complex-cracked pipe experiments were significantly lower than J-R curves from 0.5T compact tension specimens. Furthermore, the pipe J-R curves decreased systematically with increasing ratios of surface crack depth to pipe wall thickness.

    Predictions of loads and displacements in each experiment were made using four different J-estimation schemes. Good agreement was obtained between the predictions and the experimental data up to maximum load. Once past maximum load, however, the J-estimation schemes overpredicted loads and displacements.


    J-R, curves, elastic-plastic fracture, nuclear piping steels, pipe, cracks, fracture mechanics, Type 304 stainless steel, Inconel 600, A106 Grade B steel, nonlinear fracture mechanics

    Author Information:

    Kramer, GS
    Research scientist and research scientist, Battelle, Columbus, OH

    Papaspyropoulos, V
    Research scientist and research scientist, Battelle, Columbus, OH

    Committee/Subcommittee: E08.08

    DOI: 10.1520/STP27722S