The present investigation deals with the propagation and opening of a single crack in a thin wall pipe subject to cyclic pressure and thermal loading. A thermoelastic-plastic analysis based on the finite element variational technique is used to calculate the stress and displacement fields in the vicinity of the growing crack. A special type of element known as a “breakable element” is developed to model the gradual propagation of the crack. Kinematic work hardening is included to account for the Bauschinger effect of the pipe material when subjected to cyclic plastic deformation.

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