Integrity assessment of piping components is very essential for safe and reliable operation of power plants. Over the last several decades, considerable work has been done throughout the world to develop a methodology for integrity assessment of pipes and elbows, appropriate for the material involved. However, there is scope of further development/improvement of issues, particularly for pipe bends, that are important for accurate integrity assessment of piping. Considering this aspect, a comprehensive Component Integrity Test Program was initiated in 1998 at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), India. In this program, both theoretical and experimental investigations were undertaken to address various issues related to the integrity assessment of pipes and elbows. Under the experimental investigations, fracture mechanics tests have been conducted on pipes and elbows of 200–400 mm nominal bore (NB) diameter with various crack configurations and sizes under different loading conditions. Tests on small tensile and three point bend specimens, machined from the tested pipes, have also been done to evaluate the actual stress-strain and fracture resistance properties of pipe/elbow material. The load-deflection curve and crack initiation loads predicted by non-linear finite element analysis matched well with the experimental results. The theoretical collapse moments of throughwall circumferentially cracked elbows, predicted by the recently developed equations, are found to be closer to the test data compared to the other existing equations. The role of stress triaxialities ahead of crack tip is also shown in the transferability of J-Resistance curve from specimen to the component.

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