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• Effective applied moment at pipe cracked section considering the pipe restraint effect.
• Verification of the proposed evaluation methods using finite element analyses.
• Applicability for distributed external load of the proposed methods.
In the leak-before-break (LBB) design of nuclear power plants, crack opening displacement (COD) is an essential element for determining the length of the leakage size crack. Recent researches regarding the evaluation of COD have indicated that the current practice of the LBB evaluation without consideration of the pressure induced bending (PIB) restraint overestimates COD, which in turn gives non-conservative results. Under a free-ended boundary condition, however, the applied moment at cracked section also can be overestimated, which has conservative effects on LBB evaluation. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate pipe restraint effects on the applied moment as well as on COD to keep the constancy. In this paper, an evaluation method for the effect of the PIB restraint on COD and an effective applied moment (=crack driving force) at cracked section was developed. Both the linear elastic and elastic–plastic behaviors of the crack were considered. By comparing the behaviors with 3-D finite element analysis results from earlier studies, it was confirmed that the proposed methods make accurate estimations of the PIB restraint effect on COD. Next, the applicability of the proposed method to other types of external loading conditions was examined.
Journal: Nuclear Engineering and Design - Volume 301, May 2016, Pages 175–182