2008 Volume 2 Issue 5 Pages 685-694
Considering a rule for the rationalization of maintenance of Light Water Reactor piping, reliable flaw evaluation criteria are essential for determining how a detected flaw will be detrimental to continuous plant operation. Ductile fracture is one of the dominant failure modes that must be considered for carbon steel piping and can be analyzed by elastic-plastic fracture mechanics. Some analytical efforts have provided various flaw evaluation criteria using load correction factors, such as the Z-factors in the JSME codes on fitness-for-service for nuclear power plants and the section XI of the ASME boiler and pressure vessel code. The present Z-factors were conventionally determined, taking conservativity and simplicity into account; however, the effect of internal pressure, which is an important factor under actual plant conditions, was not adequately considered. Recently, a J-estimation scheme, LBB.ENGC for the ductile fracture analysis of circumferentially through-wall-cracked pipes subjected to combined loading was developed for more accurate prediction under more realistic conditions. This method explicitly incorporates the contributions of both bending and tension due to internal pressure by means of a scheme that is compatible with an arbitrary combined-loading history. In this study, the effect of internal pressure on the flaw evaluation criteria was investigated using the new J-estimation scheme. The Z-factor obtained in this study was compared with the presently used Z-factors, and the predictability of the current flaw evaluation criteria was quantitatively evaluated in consideration of the internal pressure.