Fossil power plant high-energy piping systems operated at high temperatures are subject to creep damage, which is a time-dependent phenomenon. Traditional guidelines, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B31.1 Power Piping Code, were developed for plants having design lives in the 25–30 yr regime. Since many of these systems are being operated beyond 200,000 hr, it is important to reconsider the methodology of creep damage analysis to assure reliable long-term operation. Seven high-energy piping systems were evaluated in this study. The analysis of a minimum piping system life due to creep considered two approaches. The first approach used the traditional ASME B31.1 flexibility analysis guidelines. The second approach considered more detailed multiaxial stress state types of evaluations. The various equivalent stress methods used all six load components from the flexibility analysis. In nearly every case, the equivalent stress methods predicted significantly higher stresses. Consequently, the equivalent stress methodology results in 14 to 97 percent lower time to rupture values as compared to the values predicted using ASME B31.1 stresses.

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