Temporary ground deformations produced by strong seismic activity can result in severe cyclic loading applied to piping, fittings and components such as flanges, elbows, tee joints etc. The integrity of the piping system in such condition is of critical importance for the safety of petro-chemical plants or refineries. Among various reasons of failures under earthquakes, the accumulation of plastic strains due to cyclic bending loading of pressurized piping sections containing bolted flanged joints, have to be carefully considered. This paper reports the results of the experimental full scale tests performed within the RFCS INDUSE Project [1] on PN40 and PN63 piping sections containing bolted flanged joints subjected to monotonic and cyclic bending load, in presence of internal pressure. On the basis of the experimental results, a FE model adopting Lemaitre-Chaboche nonlinear kinematic hardening rule for the pipe material has been developed, allowing to extend the results of the tests by performing a study on the main parameters affecting resistance of the joint.

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