In the frame of development in analytical defect assessment methods for the RSE-M and RCC-MRx codes, new work on the consideration of residual stresses is initiated by AREVA, CEA and EDF. The first step of this work is the realization of a database of F.E. reference cases.

To validate assumptions and develop a good practice guideline for the consideration of residual stresses in finite element calculations, a benchmark between AREVA, CEA and EDF is going-on. A first application presented in this paper focuses on the analysis of the crack initiation of aged duplex stainless steel pipes submitted to an increasing pressure loading. Residual stresses are related to pipe fabrication process and act as shell bending condition. Two tests were performed: the first with an internal longitudinal semi-elliptical crack and the second with an external crack.

The analysis first focuses on the ability to accurately estimate the measured pressure at the crack initiation of the two tests. For that purpose, the comparison of results obtained with different methods of taking into account the residual stresses (i.e. thermal fields or initial strain field). It then validates post-treatment procedures for J or G determination, and finally compares of the results obtained by the different partners.

It is then shown that the numerical models can integrate properly the impact of residual stresses on the crack initiation pressure. Then, an excellent agreement is obtained between the different numerical evaluations of G provided by the participants to the benchmark so that best practice and reference F.E. solutions for residual stresses consideration can be provided based on that work.

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