BS 7910: the UK guide on

methods for assessing the
acceptability of flaws in
metallic structures
Rohit Rastogi

Introduction

Significance of flaws in terms of
structural integrity

PD6493

BS 7910 “Guide on methods for
assessing the acceptability of flaws in
metallic structures”

Provides methods for:

Fracture assessment procedures

Fatigue assessment procedures

Assessment of flaws operating at high
temperatures

Fracture Assessment

Based on CEGB-R6 method

The basic assumption is that the flawed body
could fail by one of two extreme failure modes -
fracture or plastic collapse (overload).

3 Levels of assessment

Level 1: “Simplified assessment”

Level 2: “Normal Assessment”

Level 3: “Ductile Tearing Instability”

Sequence of Operation

Identify the flaw type

Establish the essential data

Determine the size of the flaw

Assess possible material damage
mechanisms and damage rate

Determine limiting size of the flaw

Based on the damage rate, assess
whether the flaw will grow to this final
size within the remaining life of the
structure or in-service inspection
interval, by sub-critical flaw growth

Sequence of operation

Assess the consequence of failure

Carry out sensitivity analysis

If the flaw could not grow to the
limiting size, including appropriate
factor of safety, it is acceptable.
Ideally, the safety factors should take
account of both the confidence in the
assessment and the consequence of
failure

Essential Data

Nature, position of the flaw

Structural and weld geometry,
fabrication procedure

Stresses (pressure, thermal, residual,
transients)

Tensile properties

Fatigue and corrosion data

Fracture toughness

Creep data

Stress corrosion cracking data

Information from NDE

Flaw length

Flaw height

Flaw position

Flaw orientation

Planar or non-planar cross-section

Assessment of fracture

Level 1: Simple, used when limited
information is available on material
properties

Level 2: Normal assessment route

Level 3: Tearing analysis permitted
for ductile materials

In general, the analysis is first
performed using the Level 1 analysis. If
the flaw is unacceptable then the
analysis is done using higher levels.

Failure Assessment Diagram
'
ref
r
ys
L
o
o
·
'
I
r
mat
K
K
K
·
( )
r r
K f L ·

Advantages of FAD

Double criteria approach:

Fracture

LEFM

EPFM

Collapse

Elasto-Plastic Fracture Mechanics:

J-Integral calculation not required

Other features

Flaw re-characterization rules

LBB Procedures

Calculation of reserve factors

Sensitivity analysis

Step 1: Define Stresses

Primary and Secondary

Guidance for residual stresses due to welding

Level 1 Assessment

PWHT:

30% room temperature σ
y
, parallel to the weld

20% room temperature σ
y
, transverse to the weld

No PWHT: residual stress = σ
y
at room temperature

Level 2 and 3 Assessment

Annex Q gives residual stress profiles

Residual stress profiles

Step 2: Define Fracture
toughness

Level 1 and 2

K
mat
is required

Can be estimated from Charpy energy

Level 3

Ductile tearing curve is necessary

Step 3: Define tensile properties

Level 1: Yield stress required

Level 2 and 3: Analysis based on

Yield stress and Ultimate Stress only

Stress strain curve

Step 4: Characterize flaw

Flaw from inspection

Semi-elliptical (surface flaw)

Elliptical (embedded flaw)

Rectangular (through thickness flaw)

In planes normal to max. principal stresses

Worst combination to be chosen

Step 5: Nearness to collapse

Level 1:

Level 2 and 3

σ
ref
is the stress at the cracked section that will
lead to plastic collapse

Formulations for a variety of cracked
configurations are listed in the Annexure P of the
code

Secondary stresses not considered
'
ref
r
flow
S
o
o
·
'
ref
r
ys
L
o
o
·

Step 6: Nearness to fracture

All levels

Secondary Stresses also considered

K
I
due to primary and secondary stresses
'
I
r
mat
K
K
K
·

Level 1 Assessment

Based on Conservative failure assessment
diagram

Kr : ratio of applied crack driving force to
fracture toughness

Sr : ratio of applied stress to flow strength

Single-point value of fracture toughness
(sometimes Charpy energy)

FAD is a rectangle: Sr_max = 0.8, Kr_max = 0.7

Step 7: Construct FAD

Level 1

K
r
< 0.707 and S
r
< 0.8
0
0.5
1
0 0.5 1
Sr
K
r
SAFE
UNSAFE

Level 2 Assessment

2 types: Level 2A and 2B

Depends on the type of stress-strain data

2A: Full curve not available

2B: Full curve available

Lr is used in place of Sr in FAD

Guidance for materials with discontinuous yield
point

Single point value of Fracture toughness is
required

Step 7: Construct FAD

Level 2A FAD: Only σ
ys
and σ
uts
is known
( )
( )
2 6
(max)
(max)
1 0.14 0.3 0.7exp 0.65 for
= 0 for
r r r r r
r r
K L L L L
L L
] · + s
]
>
( )
(max)
2
ys uts
r
ys
L
o o
o
+
·

Step 7: Construct FAD

Level 2B FAD: Full Stress curve known

The Level 3 definition for FAD is similar to
Level 2 FAD, but it permits increased margins by
using unstable crack growth as failure mode.
1 2
3
(max)
(max)
for 0.0
2
= 0 for
ref r ys
r r r
r ys ref
r r
E L
K L L
L E
L L
r o
o r

| `
· + < s
÷
÷
. ,
>
ε
ref
is the true strain corresponding to true stress L
r
.
σ
ys


Constructing Level 2B FAD

A number of points are taken on the L
r
axis
in between 0 and L
r
max
.

For each L
r
reference stress σ
ref
is
determined from L
r
σ
y

Corresponding true strain ε
ref
is read from the
true-stress strain curve of the material of the
component.

Now for each chosen L
r
point, The FAL is
plotted using equation
1 2
3
(max)
(max)
for 0.0
2
= 0 for
ref r ys
r r r
r ys ref
r r
E L
K L L
L E
L L
r o
o r

| `
· + < s
÷
÷
. ,
>

Level 3 Assessment

3 types: Level 3A, 3B and 3C

Depends on the type of stress-strain data

3A: Full curve not available

3B: Full curve available

3C: Detailed J-Integral calculations

Level 3 analysis
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
0
0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6
K
r
A
B
O
L2
L3
L1
L1'
L2'
FAL
L3'
Lr

Factor of Safety

Level 1 FAD: 2 on crack size

Level 2 and 3 FAD: Use partial safety factors on:

Applied stress

Flaw size

Toughness

Yield stress

These correspond to probability of failure of

2.3x10
-1

1.0x10
-3

7.0x10
-5

1.0x10
-5

Step 8: Assess the component

If the assessed point is in the safe
region the flaw is acceptable.

The code recommends a sensitivity
analysis on the results with respect to
the flaw sizes, loads and material
properties before the decision is made.

API 579 vs. BS 7910

API 579 is intended for equipment designed using the
ASME code and materials and gives results consistent
with the original ASME design safety margins.

API 579 may be used for equipment designed to other
codes but users should be prepared to interpret the
procedures in an appropriate manner.

BS 7910 is applicable to all metallic structures and
materials and is written in a more generalized manner
without reference to a particular industry, design code
or material thereby allowing users to decide safety
margins.

API 579 vs. BS 7910

API 579 covers a wide range of damage types typically found
in refining and petrochemicals application, and gives
procedures for different types of metal loss, physical damage,
low and high temperatures, and crack like defects.

BS 7910 deals comprehensively with fatigue and fracture of
defects in and around welded joints and gives annexes
covering advanced aspects such as mismatch, mixed mode
loading , residual stress effects and leak before break.

API 579 is designed at level 1 for use by plant inspectors and
plant engineering personnel with the minimum amount of
information from inspection and about the component.

API 579 vs. BS 7910

BS 7910 requires some technical expertise in
fracture mechanics and access to fracture
parameter solutions and toughness data at all
levels.

API 579 is supported by a number of
organizations based in the USA where most
experience resides.

BS 7910 was developed in the UK where TWI is
the main source of expertise, training and
software.

Thank you