At present, design standards and prescriptions do not provide specific design routes to perform engineering criticality assessment (ECA) of bimetallic girth welds. Although the authors has shown the possibility to implement ECA in accordance with available prescriptions of such flawed weld joint following the equivalent material method (EMM), when dealing with ductile crack initiation and propagation — as a result of the large scale yielding occurring at the crack tip for high fracture toughness material operating in the brittle-ductile transition region — fracture mechanics concepts such as JIc or critical CTOD may breakdown. In this work, the possibility to accurately determine the condition for ductile crack growth initiation and propagation in bi-metallic girth weld flaws using continuum damage mechanics is shown. Here, the base metal as well as the clad and the weld metal have been characterized to determine damage model parameters. Successively, the geometry transferability of model parameters has been validated. Finally, the model has been used to predict crack initiation for two bi-material interface circumferential crack configurations.

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