The deterministic leak-before-break (LBB) analysis and probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) assessment are two primary approaches for demonstrating extremely low probability of rupture of pressurized piping in the nuclear energy industry. Both stress intensity factor (SIF) and crack opening area (COA) are key components to the LBB and PFM assessments. Most of the studies and engineering practices focus on the SIF and COA due to axial tension, bending moment and internal pressure while limited investigations target on these parameters caused by torsion moment.

The objective of this study is to perform three-dimensional finite element analyses (3D FEA) to determine both SIF and COA for through-wall circumferential cracks in the pipe under bending or torsion moment. A range of normalized crack lengths (i.e. θ/π = 1/18 to 4/9) and three pipe radius over thickness ratios (i.e. Rm/t = 5, 10 and 25) are considered. Empirical solutions of the SIF for torsion loading as functions of crack geometry are developed. Comparisons for SIF regarding combined bending and torsion moments evaluated using code-specified solutions are presented. Finally, the COAs regarding the two loading modes are discussed. Such study is expected to be useful for both deterministic LBB analysis and PFM assessment of pressurized pipes.

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