Local wall-thinning due to flow-accelerated corrosion is one of the degradation mechanisms of carbon steel piping in nuclear power plant (NPP). It is a main concern in carbon steel piping systems in terms of the safety and operability of the NPP. Recently, the integrity of piping components containing local wall-thinning has become more important for maintaining the reliability of a nuclear piping system, and has been the subject of several studies. However, although wall-thinning in pipe bends and elbows has been frequently reported, its effect on the integrity of pipe bends and elbows has not yet been systematically investigated. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the circumferential location of a local wall-thinning defect on the collapse behavior of an elbow. For this purpose, the present study used three-dimensional finite element analyses on a 90-degree elbow containing local wall-thinning at the crown of the bend region and evaluated the collapse moment of the wall-thinned elbow under various thinning geometries and loading conditions. The combined internal pressure and bending loads were considered as an applied load. Internal pressure of 0∼20 MPa and both closing-and opening-mode bending were applied. The results of the analyses showed that a reduction in the collapse moment of the elbow due to local wall-thinning was more significant when a defect was located at the crown than when a defect was located at the intrados and extrados. Also, the effect of the internal pressure on the collapse moment depended on the circumferential location of the thinning defect and mode of the bending load.

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