Multiple flaws detected during in-service inspections are evaluated in accordance with the flaw combination rules provided in the ASME B&PV Code Section XI. The rules treat adjacent two flaws as a single combined flaw if the distance between the two flaws is equal to or less than half of the flaw depth. That is, the combination rules are consisted of flaw depth basis. However, its applicability has not been clarified systematically to the flaws with large aspect ratio, the depth of which are greater than half its length. Interactions of stress intensity factors for multiple flaws under membrane stress were investigated using finite element analyses. The numerical results suggest that the flaw combination rules might be better to use flaw length basis, instead of flaw depth, over a wide range of the aspect ratio.

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