J-integral and local damage fracture analyses for a pump casing containing large weld repairs

Bouchard, P. J.; Goldthorpe, M. R. and Prottey, P. (2001). J-integral and local damage fracture analyses for a pump casing containing large weld repairs. International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping, 78(4) pp. 295–305.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0308-0161(01)00044-8

Abstract

Three-dimensional J-integral and two-dimensional Local Approach finite element studies are described for postulated crack-like defects in a large repair weld to the casing of a light water reactor circulation pump. The repair weld residual stress field is simulated and plant operating pressure and thermal transient loads are applied. Crack tip constraint effects are quantified through detailed analysis of the cracked structure and compact tension fracture toughness specimens. Fracture initiation crack sizes are shown to be larger than conceivable fabrication defects that are detectable using modern ultrasonic inspection techniques. The Local Approach study demonstrates the benefits of quantifying crack tip constraint conditions, compared with conventional J-estimation schemes and cracked body J-integral analysis. The method of introducing the crack into the finite element model is shown to have a large effect on calculated crack tip fracture parameters; a slowly developing crack in the residual stress field being more benign.

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