SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2004

Application of Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics in Structural Design of Magnet Component Parts Operating Under Cyclic Loads at Cryogenic Temperatures


This paper presents a methodology for the use of probabilistic fracture mechanics concepts to estimate the design fatigue life and reliability of structural materials used in superconducting coils and magnet intercoil components of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). The orbitally welded conductor jackets of superconducting coils are subjected to fluctuating tensile stresses. The paper uses fatigue crack growth (FCGR) data at 7K from type 316LN stainless steel, in parent and weld material conditions, to predict fatigue crack growth rates using Monte Carlo analysis. Two stages are considered in which scatter could be quantified in the analysis. Initially, the unknown in crack length is taken as a stochastic variable. Secondly, the model assumes that the scatter observed in the correlation of the FCGR data versus ΔK is directly due to factors such as testing methods, measurement, material, and geometric variability and can therefore be quantified statistically. Either a normal or lognormal distribution of the scatter is assumed depending on the parameter. The purpose of this approach is to illustrate some of the advantages over a deterministic approach that most design codes use. An example is presented that compares the design life of a conductor jacket section containing a single crack and multiple cracks. A comparison of a sensitivity analysis for multiple cracks, for failure times at probabilities of 1 % and 0.001 %, with times calculated from a deterministic analysis using appropriate safety factors, suggests that the deterministic analysis give less conservative failure times.

Author Information

Yatomi, M
Imperial College, London, UK
Nyilas, A
Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institut für Technische Physik, Karlsruhe, Germany
Portone, A
EFDA (European Fusion Development Association), Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, Garching, Germany
Sborchia, C
EFDA (European Fusion Development Association), Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, Garching, Germany
Mitchell, N
ITER Joint Central Team, Naka, Japan
Nikbin, K
Imperial College, London, UK
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 216–239
DOI: 10.1520/STP11289S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5496-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-3478-2