Fracture behavior of a high-pressure vessel for food processing under monotonic and fatigue loadings was investigated by conducting both experiments and finite element analysis (FEA) based on abaqus and zencrack software. Finite element analysis results showed that cracks nucleated at the filets of pin-hole and propagated faster near the inner surface than near the outer surface of the pressure vessel, progressively deflected, and eventually coalesced with other cracks initiated from the counter pin hole under monotonic loading. Such crack growth behavior coincided with the experimental result of hydraulic pressurizing test. Based on fatigue crack growth test of the pressure vessel material, 17-4PH stainless steel, a new equation to express the da/dNΔK curves including threshold region, has been proposed and embedded into the zencrack software to simulate the fatigue behavior of the pressure vessel. The simulation results showed that fatigue lives could be accurately estimated including low pressure range. The present simulation methods would be the useful design tool for pressure vessel under monotonic and cyclic loadings.

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