Structural integrity assessment codes such as R6 [1] and BS7910 [2] provide guidance on the assessment of flaws that are assumed to be infinitely sharp using the Failure Assessment Diagram (FAD). In many cases, such as fatigue cracks, this assumption is appropriate, however it can be pessimistic for flaws that do not have sharp tips such as lack of fusion, porosity or mechanical damage. Several Notch Failure Assessment Diagram (NFAD) methods have been proposed in the literature to quantify the additional margins that may be present for non-sharp defects compared to the margins that would be calculated if the defect were assumed to be a sharp crack. This paper presents the first stage of on-going work to validate an NFAD method and to develop guidance for its application in safety assessments. The work uses 3D Finite Element (FE) Analysis in conjunction with a wide range of test data on non-sharp defects as a basis for validation. The paper also develops some practical guidance on the treatment of Lüders strain in the FE analysis of specimens containing notches instead of fatigue pre-cracks.

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