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Title: The mechanism of leak-before-break fracture and its application in engineering critical assessment
Author: Bourga, Renaud
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 089X
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis investigated the different aspects and mechanisms of leak-before-break (LBB) assessment. The main objective was to improve the understanding of the transition between surface and through wall defects. While existing procedures generally idealise the through-wall crack into a rectangular shape, in reality a crack propagates with a shape depending on the loading. Comparison between the related solutions from established procedures have been undertaken. The apparent variation depending on the solutions used in the assessment has been highlighted. Two different methodologies have been employed to investigate the transition of flaw: (i) non-ideal through-wall and (ii) surface-breaking flaw propagation. The first approach consists of numerical models of non-idealised flaws in order to assess the effect on LBB parameters. For the second approach, experiments have been first carried out to visualise the shape of defect growths. To further study surface-breaking flaws, both experimental and numerical studies were performed. Fatigue tests on deeply notched plates with two crack aspect ratios were carried out. Strain evolutions on the back surface were recorded along the axes parallel and perpendicular to the crack. Numerical models have been prepared to investigate a larger scope. Behaviour of growing surface-breaking defects was examined. Based on the work conducted in this research, the major findings can be summarised as follows: - The existing solutions to carry out a LBB assessment using available procedures were reviewed and discussed. For axial flaws, SIF solutions were found similar and in good agreement with FEA values. Reference stress solutions showed significant difference between BS 7910 and API 579-1/ASME FFS-1. When compared to experimental data, API's solutions were able to distinguish between leak and break cases. - Flaw geometry assumption for through-wall crack yet to become idealised did not always reflect the actual behaviour, especially for COA calculation. In this case, FEA can be used as a good predictive tool for LBB to estimate margins when assessing leak rate. - The experiment using metallic specimens showed that high stress/strain on back surface would provide a good estimate of the crack propagation as it approached break-through. This offers a more accurate monitoring mechanism. Strain-mapping devices such as gauges could be used.
Supervisor: Wang, B. ; Janin, Y. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cyndrical component/Piping/Pressure vessel ; Crack/Defect/Flaw ; Finite element analysis (FEA) ; Fatigue testing (experimental) ; Stress-strain data