Elastic-Plastic Analysis of the Maximum Postulated Flaw in the Beltline Region of a Reactor Vessel

[+] Author and Article Information
H. G. deLorenzi

General Electric Company, Corporate Research and Development, Schenectady, N.Y. 12301

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 104(4), 278-286 (Nov 01, 1982) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3264218 History: Received December 03, 1981; Revised July 30, 1982; Online November 05, 2009


A maximum postulated surface flaw in the beltline region of a PWR pressure vessel has been analyzed under elastic-plastic conditions. The analysis was performed using 3-D finite element methods, and the deformation theory of plasticity was used to describe the plastic flow of the material. The calculations were carried out for the internal pressure varying from the design pressure up to approximately twice the design pressure. The results show that at the design pressure the plastic flow of the material around the crack front is so small that an elastic analysis is adequate. However, the commonly used approach of treating the flaw in the vessel as a surface flaw in a flat plate under far field tension loading is nonconservative. At a pressure of approximately 50 percent over the design pressure the energy release rate derived from an elastic analysis starts to deviate from the value obtained from an elastic-plastic calculation. The elastic result now starts to be nonconservative and at twice the design pressure the elastic analysis will clearly underestimate the severity of the crack. A 2-D elastic-plastic plane strain approximation will on the other hand grossly overestimate the severity of the crack. A realistic 3-D elastic-plastic analysis is, therefore, needed to estimate the safety factors of surface flaws and to serve as benchmarks for the development of simpler design calculations.

Copyright © 1982 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.






Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In