Chapter 46
Applications of Elastic-Plastic Fracture Mechanics in Section XI, ASME Code Evaluations


Chapter 46, authored by Hardayal Mehta and Sampath Ranganath, recognized authorities on the Elastic-Plastic Fracture Mechanics (EPFM), are providing in this chapter a review of EPFM applications in ASME Section XI Code. The early ASME Section XI flaw evaluation procedures have been typically based on LEFM. Early progress in the development of EPFM methodology is first reviewed. A key element in the application of EPFM to flaw evaluation is the estimation of the fracture parameter J-Integral. Therefore, the applied J-Integral estimation methods developed by EPRI/GE are first reviewed. Basics of the J-T stability evaluation are then discussed. The first application of EPFM methodology to flaw evaluation of austenitic piping welds is discussed. The extension of EPFM techniques to flaw evaluations in ferritic piping is then covered. Technical background and evolution of Section XI Code Cases (N-463, N-494) and non-mandatory Appendices (C and H) related to pipe flaw evaluation is then provided. Another EPFM based pipe flaw evaluation procedure using the so-called DPFAD approach is also covered.

Drs. Mehta and Ranganath then describe the application of EPFM methods to the flaw evaluations of reactor pressure vessel. An early application has been the evaluation of RPVs with projected upper shelf energy less than that required by 10CFR50. The technical background of Section XI Code Case N-512 and nonmandatory Appendix K is provided. Finally, a proposed Code Case currently under consideration by appropriate Section XI Working Groups, is discussed in detail that would permit the use of EPFM methodology for RPV flaw evaluations per IWB-3610. The updated chapter considers the developments up to 2007 ASME Code as they relate to EPFM flaw evaluation methods discussed.

The authors have included extensive bibliographical references from their own publications, research publications, international journals and related EPRI and ASME publications.

  • 46.1 Introduction
  • 46.2 Early Progress in the Development of EPFM
  • 46.3 Engineering Approach to EPFM and Piping Applications
  • 46.4 Application to RPV Evaluation
  • 46.5 References

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