If multiple discrete flaws are detected that are in close proximity to one another, alignment rules are used to determine whether the flaws should be treated as non-aligned or as coplanar. Alignment rules are defined in many codes in the world. However, the criteria of the alignment rules are different in these codes. This paper introduces the current alignment rules and, in addition, interaction of stress intensity factors for non-aligned through wall flaws were calculated by FEM analysis. Also, brittle fracture experiments were performed on carbon steel plates with non-aligned two flaws. From these calculations and experiments, authors had found the effect of stress intensity factor interaction on fracture behavior for establishing a new alignment rule.

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