, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 167-181

Assessment of partly circumferential cracks in pipes

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This paper presents a new method for predicting the stress intensity factors around a partly circumferential elliptical surface crack in a pipe. The solution is applicable to structures with both double and single curvature. The technique involves a conformal transform in conjunction with a semi-analytical approach that uses a finite element model to obtain the stress distribution in the undamaged structure. By using an indirect methodology, the model development is simplified and the analysis time is minimised. As such a coarse mesh can be used to obtain solutions for multiple crack geometries. Three examples are presented to verify this methodology. They include a partly circumferential elliptical crack under uniform tension, a pipe subject to a residual stress field, and a problem involving double curvature. For simple loading the solution compares with other published solutions to within 5% for an external crack, and to within 15% for an internal crack. For more complex loading conditions the majority of the solutions were within 5% of other published results at the deepest point, and most solutions at the surface agreed to within 15%. For the problem involving double curvature, the solutions agreed to within 4% for an internal crack, and 15% for an external crack.