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The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code now suggests the use of fatigue crack growth analysis in the evaluation of indications found during in-service inspection of nuclear components. In this paper the role of crack growth analysis in the evaluation process is reviewed in some detail, and the background and philosophy of its implementation is discussed.
Each of the steps in the crack growth analysis process is discussed in order to point out the assumptions possible and their implications. A detailed consideration of crack shape change during growth is presented, as well as a statement of guidelines for choosing a reference crack growth law.
The ASME approach is compared with the approaches taken in other industries and, finally, a number of areas in need of further work are highlighted.
fatigue crack growth, ASME Code, analysis methods, integrity analysis
Senior engineer, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Fellow engineer, Westinghouse Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, West Mifflin, Pa.