When a crack is detected in a piping line during in-service inspections, failure estimation method provided in ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section XI or JSME Rules on Fitness-for-Service for Nuclear Power Plants can be applied to evaluate the structural integrity of the cracked pipe. The failure estimation method in the current codes accounts for the bending moment and axial force due to pressure. The torsion moment is not considered.

Recently, analytical investigations have been carried out by several authors on the limit load of cracked pipes considering multi-axial loads including torsion and two failure estimation methods for multi-axial loads including torsion moment with different ranges of values have been proposed. In this study, to investigate the failure behavior of cracked pipes subjected to multi-axial loads including the torsion moment and to provide experimental support for the failure estimation methods, failure experiments were performed on 20 mm diameter stainless steel pipes with a circumferential surface crack or a through-wall crack under combined axial force and bending and torsion moments. Based on the experimental results, the proposed failure estimation methods were confirmed to be applicable to cracked pipes subjected to multi-axial loads.

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