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A combination rule for multiple surface cracks based on fatigue crack growth life

1 Key Laboratory of Pressure Systems and Safety (Ministry of Education), School of Mechanical and Power Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
2 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA

Special Issues: Interaction of Multiple Cracks in Metallic Components-Volume 2

A plate under cyclic loading, containing two coplanar surface flaws with both identical and dissimilar sizes, is considered in the present study. By conducting detailed step-by-step finite element analyses, the conservatism contained in different combination rules for multiple coplanar flaws provided by fitness-for-service codes (ASME, BS7910, API579 and GB/T19624) have been quantitatively assessed for the fatigue failure mode. The findings show that the re-characterization guideline provided by ASME and BS7910 may cause non-conservative estimations when two crack sizes are similar, whereas API579 and GB/T19624 lead to excessively pessimistic predictions for almost all the cases. Based on the fatigue crack growth life, we suggest a new combination rule and conclude that it always yields a reasonable estimation with necessary conservatism, for various initial crack depths, material constants and relative sizes of two cracks.
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