A previous PVP paper [1] identified suggested improvements to be made to ASME Code, Section XI, Nonmandatory Appendix G, “Fracture Toughness Criteria for Protection Against Failure” [2]. That paper also identified that the current version of Appendix G does not have any provisions for when the calculated operating stress (pseudo stress) exceeds the material yield strength. The treatment of stresses exceeding yield was included in earlier versions of Appendix G, but it was removed via Code Action ISI-94-40 in 1995. The specific reasons for removal of these provisions were not documented.

In some Appendix G postulated flaw evaluations for pressure-temperature (P-T) limits, the calculated total linear-elastic (or pseudo) stress (i.e., including the primary stress due to pressure loading and thermal stress) may exceed the material yield stress. The ASME Section XI Working Group on Operating Plant Criteria (WGOPC) decided that this provision needed to be more fully considered, with appropriate benchmarking and possible adjustments to Appendix G made consistent with the current state of knowledge in elastic-plastic fracture mechanics (EPFM) methods. This is appropriate since the state of knowledge in EPFM has significantly advanced since the time the technical basis for Appendix G was established, as documented in Welding Research Council (WRC) Bulletin No. WRC-175, which was published in 1972. Furthermore, EPFM provides an improved method for evaluating the effects of high stresses.

This paper describes the results of preliminary investigations of stresses exceeding the material yield stress in fracture toughness assessments associated with Appendix G. Also included in the technical evaluations presented are the temperature conditions for which upper shelf conditions are present and where EPFM methods are applicable.

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