This paper presents a computational failure analysis of piping systems with and without thinned elbows on tri-axial shake table tests. In a previous experimental study, two piping models, a sound piping system and a degraded piping system with thinned elbows, were assessed. The sound piping system was found to fail at the elbow flank due to in-plane cyclic bending, whereas the degraded system failed at the end of the elbow due to excessive pipe ovalization. In the present study, finite element (FE) models of elbows were developed in order to carry out fracture analysis. The measured displacements of seismic motions were used as the boundary conditions for FE models. In the sound piping system, plastic strain concentrated at the flank of the elbow due to in-plane bending. The cumulative damage factor was calculated from the fatigue curve and Miner's rule. The effect of ratcheting was also considered. In the failed elbow, the calculated cumulative damage factor showed good agreement with experimental results. On the other hand, for the fracture analysis of the thinned elbow, the entire seismic loading history on the tri-axial shake table was considered, since the effect of pipe ovalization depends on loading history. The ovalization occurred at the elbow due to cumulative seismic loading. Consequently, the principal plastic strain began to concentrate at the end of the elbow. These FE results offer quantitative explanation for the observed failure modes in the degraded piping system.

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