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Basics for Fatigue Analysis using Caesar II | What is Piping

What is Piping
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Basics for Fatigue Analysis of Piping System

using Caesar II
2 6 th October 2 01 4

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Fatigue is the progressiv e and localized structural
damage that occurs when a material is subjected to
cy clic loading. Continued cy cling of high stress
concentrations may ev entually cause a crack which
propagates and results in leakages. This failure
mechanism is called fatigue. Damage once done
during the fatigue process is cumulativ e and
normally unrecov erable.
Fatigue can be grouped in two classes; High cy cle
fatigue and low cy cle fatigue.
High cy cle fatigue inv olv es little or no plastic
action. Therefore, it is stress-gov erned. Normally , a
fatigue curv e (also called the SN curv e) is generated for ev ery material by ex perimental tests which
correlates applied stress with the number of cy cles to cause failure. For high-cy cle fatigue, the analy sis is
performed to determine the endurance limit, which is actually a stress lev el that can be applied for an
infinite number of times without showing any failure. As a general rule no of cy cles 1 0^5 is considered as
demarcation point for high and low cy cle fatigue.




Basics for Fatigue Analysis using Caesar II | What is Piping

The loading cy cles applied in piping design are normally v ery few in the order of a few thousands. This ty pe
of fatigue is identified as low-cy cle fatigue. For low-cy cle fatigue, the applied stress normally ex ceeds the
y ield strength of the material, which causes plastic instability in the specimen under test. But when strain is
used as the controlled v ariable, the results in low-cy cle region are reliable as well as reproducible.
Sources of Fatigue:
For Piping sy stem, Cy clic loadings are primarily due to:

Thermal Ex pansion & Contraction

V ibration due to Occasional loading
Pressure v ariation within Piping sy stem
Motion wav e.
Due to Flow induced V ibration

The fatigue process is div ided into three stages: crack initiation from the continued cy cling of high stress
concentrations, crack propagation to critical size, and unstable rupture of the section.
Factors Affecting the Fatigue Behav ior:
The factors which affect the fatigue behav iour are listed below:

Ty pe and Nature of Loading.

Size of Component and stress or strain Distribution.
Surface finish and Directional Properties.
Stress or Strain Concentration.
Mean stress or Strain.
Env ironmental Effects.
Metallurgical Factors and Material Properties.
Strain Rate and Frequency Effects.

Characteristics of Low Cy cle Fatigue:

Characterized by high loads and a small no. of cy cles before failure.

Here failure occurs only with stress lev els in the plastic range, i.e. significant plastic strain occurs during
each cy cle.
The stresses which cause fatigue failure in the piping are the peak stresses.
In piping design, most of the loading cy cles encountered would be of the low cy cle ty pe




Basics for Fatigue Analysis using Caesar II | What is Piping

Characteristics of High Cy cle Fatigue:

Characterized by high no. of cy cles (Preferable N>1 04) with relativ ely low stress lev els and the
deformation is in elastic range.
This ty pe of fatigue failure used in the design of rotating machinery .
This ty pe of fatigue results from strain cy cles in the elastic range.
A stress lev el, endurance limit, may be applied an infinite times without failure, is calculated.

Failure Criteria:
While preparing fatigue curv es, the strains obtained in the tests are multiplied by one-half of the elastic
modulus to obtain pseudo stress amplitude. This pseudo stress is directly compared with the stresses
calculated on the assumption of elastic behav ior of piping. During piping stress analy sis, a stress called the
alternating stress (Salt) is used which is defined as one-half of the calculated peak stress. Fatigue failure can
be prev ented by ensuring that the number of load cy cles (N) associated with a specific alternating stress is
less than the number allowed in the SN curv e or endurance curv e. But in practical serv ice conditions a
piping sy stem is subjected to alternating stresses of different magnitudes. These changes in magnitudes
make the direct use of the fatigue curv es inapplicable since the curv es are based on constant-stress
Fatigue tests of metallic materials and structures hav e prov ided the following main clues to the basic nature
of fatigue:

Fatigue failure, or cracking under repeated stress much lower than the ultimate tensile strength, is
shown in most metals and alloy s that ex hibit some ductility in static tests. The magnitude of the applied
alternating stress range is the controlling fatigue life parameter.
Failure depends upon the number of repetitions of a giv en range of stress rather than the total time
under load. The speed of loading is a factor of secondary importance, ex cept at elev ated temperatures.
Some metals, including ferrous alloy s, hav e a safe range of stress. Below this stress, called the
endurance limit or fatigue limit, failure does not occur irrespectiv e of the number of stress cy cles.
Notches, groov es, or other discontinuities of section greatly decrease the stress amplitude that can be
sustained for a giv en number of cy cles.
The range of stress necessary to produce failure in a fix ed number of cy cles usually decrease as the mean
tension stress of the loading cy cle is increased.
Ex amination of fatigue fracture shows ev idence of microscopic deformation, ev er in the apparently
brittle region of origin and propagates of the crack. The plastic deformation that accompanies a
spreading fatigue crack is usually limited in ex tent to regions v ery near the crack.

Therefore, to make fatigue curv es applicable for piping, some alternate approach is necessary .
One hy pothesis asserts that the damage fraction of any stress lev el S, is linearly proportional to the Ratio of
the number of cy cles of operation at the stress lev el to the total number of cy cles that would
produce failure at that stress lev el. This means that failure is predicted to occur if
U1 .0 where U= Usage factor = (ni/Ni) for all stress lev els
Where, ni= number of cy cles operating at stress lev el i
Ni= number of cy cles to failure at stress lev el i as per material fatigue curv e.
Analy sis Requirement:



Basics for Fatigue Analysis using Caesar II | What is Piping

If there are two or more ty pes of stress cy cles which produce significant stresses, their cumulativ e effect
shall be ev aluated as stipulated in Steps 1 through 6 below:

1 . Designate the specified number of times each ty pe of stress cy cle of ty pes 1 ,2,3,,n, will be Repeated
during the life of the component as n1 , n2, n3,., nn, respectiv ely . In determining n1 , n2, n3,., nn,
consideration shall be giv en to the superposition of cy cles of v arious origins which produce the greatest
total alternating stress range. For ex ample , if one ty pe of stress cy cle produce 1 000 cy cles of a stress
v ariation from zero to +60,000 psi and another ty pe of stress cy cle produces 1 0,000 cy cles of a stress
v ariation from zero to -50,000 psi, the two cy cles to be considered are shown below:

cy cle ty pe 1 : n1 =1 000 and Salt1 = (60000+50000)/2

cy cle ty pe 2: n2=9000 and Salt2= (0+50000)/2
For each ty pe of stress cy cle, determine the alternating stress intensity Salt, which for our application is
one half of the range between the ex pansion stress cy cles (as shown abov e). These alternating stress
intensities are designated as Salt1 , Salt2, Saltn.
On the applicable design fatigue curv e find the permissible number of cy cles for each Salt computed.
These are designated as N1 , N2, .Nn.
For each stress cy cle calculate the usage factor U1 , U2, .Un where U1 = n1 /N1 , U2= n2/N2,
Calculate the cumulativ e usage factor U as U=U1 +U2+.+Un.
The cumulativ e usage factor shall not ex ceed 1 .0

Click here to find out the actual step by step method for performing Fatigue analy sis using Caesar II

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