Abstract

High-explosive containment vessels are often designed for repeated use, implying predominately elastic material behavior. Each explosive test imparts an impulse to the vessel wall. The vessel subsequently vibrates as a result, with amplitude diminishing exponentially in time after a few cycles due to structural damping. Flaws present in the vessel, as well as new flaws induced by fragment impact during testing, could potentially grow by fatigue during these vibrations. Subsequent explosive tests result in new sequences of vibrations, providing further opportunity for flaws to grow by fatigue. The obvious question is, 'How many explosive experiments can be performed before flaws potentially grow to unsafe limits?' Because ASME Code Case 2564-5 (Impulsively Loaded Pressure Vessels) has just been incorporated in Section VIII, Division 3 of the 2019 ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, evaluation of remaining life and fitness-for-service of explosive containment vessels now draws upon two interrelated codes and standards: ASME Section VIII-3 and API-579/ASME FFS-1. This paper discusses their implementation in determining the remaining life of dynamically loaded vessels that have seen service and are potentially damaged. Results of a representative explosive containment vessel are presented using actual flaw data for both embedded weld flaws and fragment damage. Because of the potentially large number of flaws that can be detected by modern non-destructive inspection methods, three simplifying assumptions and a procedure are presented for conservatively eliminating from further consideration the vast majority of the flaws that possess considerable remaining life.

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