The present study examines the mechanical behavior of steel process piping elbows, subjected to strong cyclic loading conditions. The work is numerical, supported by experimental data on elbow specimens subjected to in-plane cyclic bending, with or without internal pressure, resulting in failure in the low-cycle-fatigue range. The investigation of elbow behavior is conducted using rigorous finite element analysis accounting for measured elbow geometry and the actual material properties. An advanced cyclic plasticity material model is employed for the simulation of the tests. Emphasis is given on the value of local strain and its accumulation at the critical elbow location where cracking occurs. Based on the cyclic stress–strain curve of the material and the strain-based fatigue curve from the test data, the use of Neuber's formula leads to a fatigue analysis and design methodology, offering a simple and efficient tool for predicting elbow fatigue life.

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