The present work examines the behavior of pipe elbows subjected to strong cyclic in-plane bending loading in the presence of internal pressure. In the first part of this work the experimental procedure is presented in detail. The tests are conducted in a constant amplitude displacement-controlled mode resulting to failures in the low-cycle fatigue range. The overall behavior of each tested specimen, as well as the evolution and concentration of local strains are monitored throughout the testing procedure. Different internal pressure levels are used in order to examine their effect on the fatigue life of the specimens.
The above experimental investigation is supported by rigorous finite element analysis. Using detailed dimensional measurements and material testing obtained prior to specimen testing, detailed numerical models are developed to simulate the conducted experiments. An advanced cyclic plasticity material model is employed for the simulation of the tests. Emphasis is given on the local strain development at the critical part of the elbow where cracking occurs. Finally, the results of the present investigation are compared with available design provisions in terms of both ultimate capacity and low-cycle fatigue.