API 579

An Introduction to API RP
579: Section 9
Assessment of Crack Like
Flaws

ROHIT RASTOGI
01/27/09 2
API 579

Classical engineering design
– applied stress : material resistance
– component is defect-free

Possible presence of defects
– casting, welding, forming, develop during
operation

Fitness for Service (FFS) procedure
– Determining the residual life of damaged plant
– Ensuring safe operation beyond design life
– Down-rating damaged plant below design
– Demonstrating tolerance to defects within a safety
case
– Extending inspection intervals
– Reducing duration of outage and shutdown
Introduction
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API 579
Codes

API: American Petroleum Industry

API Codes and Standards for:
– design, fabrication, inspection and testing of new
pressure vessels, piping systems and storage tanks
• do not address the fact that equipment degrades
while in-service
• deficiencies due to degradation or from original
fabrication may be found during subsequent
inspections.

Can be applied to other industries

API Codes
– API 510: Pressure vessel inspection code
– API 570: Piping inspection code
– API 653: Tank inspection code
– API 580: Risk based inspection

API 579
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API 579
API 579

to ensure safety:plant
personnel, public

to provide sound FFS
assessment procedures

to ensure consistent remaining
life predictions

to enhance long-term
economic viability
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API 579
API 579
• API's Recommended Practice 579 for FFS
• API 579 can be used to make run-repair-
replace decisions
• The 1,000-page document is organized into
modules
• Each section is based on a type of flaw or
damage, such as crack-like flaws
• The document is primarily aimed at the
petrochemical industry
• types of damage listed seen in
petrochemical applications
– they are present in other industries
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API 579
Overview of Damage
Assessment Procedures
Section
Fire Damage 11
High Temp. Operation and Creep 10
Crack Like Flaws 9
Weld Misalignments and Shell
Distortions
8
Blisters and Laminations 7
Pitting Corrosion 6
Local Metal Loss 5
General Metal Loss 4
Brittle Fracture 3
Outline of Overall Methodology 2
Introduction and Scope 1
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API 579
Methodology for All
Damage Types
Documentation
8
In-service monitoring
7
Remediation
6
Remaining life evaluation
5
Assessment techniques and acceptance
criteria
4
Data requirements
3
Applicability and limitations of the FFS
assessment procedures
2
Flaw and damage mechanism
identification
1
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API 579
Assessment Levels

Three levels of assessment for each flaw
and damage type
– Level 1 to 3

Assessment level
– Conservatism
– Amount of information required
– Skill of the assessor
– Complexity of analysis

Level 1
– NDE inspector

Level 2
– Plant Engineer

Level 3
– FFS Expert
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API 579
API 579 Section 9 -
ASSESSMENT OF CRACK-LIKE
FLAWS

FFS for crack like flaws

Based on Failure Assessment Diagram
(FAD) method

Crack like flaws observed from
inspection:

planar flaws

Length, depth, sharp root radius

Conservative to treat volumetric flaws as
cracks
• Micro-cracks at root

Relative flaw tolerance at design stage

Risk to fracture

a/t = 25%, length = 6a
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Applicability and
Limitations of the
Procedure

Level 1 and 2

Original Design Criteria

Operating temperature less than
Creep range

Dynamic Loading effects not
significant

No in-service crack growth
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Applicability and
Limitations of the
Procedure : Level 1

Geometries

Flat plate, cylinder or sphere

R/t > 5

t < 38 mm

Away from major structural discontinuity

Loads

Only membrane stress field, within design
limits

Material

C-Steel with specified max. tensile prop.
And min. fracture properties
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API 579
Data Requirement

Original Equipment Design
Data

Maintenance and equipment
history

Loads and stresses

Material properties

Flaw Characterization

Recommendation for
inspection techniques
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Flaw Characterization

Simple geometry, amenable for
fracture mechanics analysis

Objective is to get a crack of
conservative size in plane ⊥ to
maximum principal stress direction

Cracks from inspection:

irregular in shape

arbitrarily oriented

multiple cracks

branched cracks
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API 579
Flaw Characterization
(Shape)
Through Wall Flaw
Surface Flaw
Embedded Flaw
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Flaw Characterization (length)
when flaw is not normal to
principal stress direction

Conservative Option
– C
o
(measured length), C (length used
in calculations, normal to max.
stresses)
– Take C = C
o

Equivalent flaw length
– Inclined cracks -> align itself
perpendicular to the applied stress
– Mixed mode to Mode I crack
– Equivalent Mode I from energy
considerations
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API 579
Flaw Characterization
(Length)
( )
0 1 2
, , c c f o o o ·
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API 579
Flaw Characterization (depth)

Depth difficult to measure

A. Flaw depth by default
values

Through wall flaw, a = t,

Surface flaw,

B. Flaw depth from actual
measurements
– Normal flaw, a=a
o
[ ]
min , length=2c a t c ·
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API 579
Flaw Characterization
(Depth)
( )
o
a a W u ·
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Flaw Characterization (Branch
Crack)
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Flaw Characterization (Multiple
Cracks)
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Level 1 Analysis

STEP 1 – Determine the load cases and
temperatures: operating and design conditions.

STEP 2 – Determine the length and depth of the
crack: characterize 

STEP 3 – Determine the case from the list below
o
Flat Plate, Crack-Like Flaw Parallel To Joint
o
Cylinder, Longitudinal Joint, Crack-Like Flaw Parallel To
Joint
o
Cylinder, Longitudinal Joint, Crack-Like Perpendicular
To Joint
o
Cylinder, Circumferential Joint, Crack-Like Flaw Parallel
To Joint
o
Cylinder, Circumferential Joint, Crack-Like Flaw
Perpendicular To Joint
o
Sphere, Circumferential Joint, Crack-Like Flaw Parallel
To Joint
o
Sphere, Circumferential Joint, Crack-Like Flaw
Perpendicular To Joint
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API 579
Level 1 analysis
 
¼ t, flaw
t flaw
A – flaw in base metal.
B –flaw in weld metal that has been subject to PWHT.
C –flaw in weld metal that has not been subject to
PWHT
T
ref
= use 38
o
C (material specific
can also be obtained from
Section 3)
At T
ref
+33
o
Cv = 68J, l.e. >.89mm

01/27/09 23
API 579
Failure Assessment
Diagram
'
ref
r
ys
L
o
o
·
'
I
r
mat
K
K
K
·
( )
r r
K f L ·
01/27/09 24
API 579
Advantages of FAD

Double criteria approach:

Fracture

LEFM

EPFM

Collapse

Elasto-Plastic Fracture
Mechanics:

J-Integral calculation not required
01/27/09 25
API 579
Level 2 Analysis

If the component does not meet
the Level 1 Assessment
requirements then a Level 2 or
Level 3 Assessment can be done.

Method A: Using partial safety
factors

Factor for applied loading

Factor for material toughness

Factor for flaw dimensions

Based on probabilistic methods
01/27/09 26
API 579
Level 2 Analysis
1– Evaluate operating conditions and determine
the pressure, temperature and loading
combinations to be evaluated.
2–Stress distributions at the location of the flaw.
Classify
Primary stress
Secondary stress
Residual stress
Appendix E of API 579 contains a compendium of
residual stress distributions for various weld
geometries
3 – Determine the material properties
yield strength
tensile strength
fracture toughness
01/27/09 27
API 579
Level 2 Analysis

Appendix F of API 579 contains
information on material properties,
including toughness

Appendix does not contain a database
of toughness values

It provides correlations and estimation
methods

For ferritic steels, there are lower-bound
correlations of toughness to Charpy
transition temperature

From Sections III and XI of the ASME boiler
and pressure vessel code
01/27/09 28
API 579
Level 2 Analysis
API 579 endorses the use of the fracture
toughness Master Curve, as implemented
in ASTM Standard E 1921-97
4 – Determine the crack dimensions:
characterize
5 – Modify the primary stress, material
fracture toughness, and flaw size using the
Partial Safety Factors ( PSF )
.
.
m m S
b b S
P P PSF
P P PSF
·
·
mat
mat
k
K
K
PSF
·
.
a
a a PSF ·
01/27/09 29
API 579
Need for Partial safety
Factors (PSF)
Consider a Design
R = L1 + L2 + L3
Let the factor of safety be 1.5
Thus:
R/(L1+L2+L3) = 1.5
1.5 to account for scatter in R, L
Probability of failure P(R < [L1+L2+L3])
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API 579
Estimating the Probability
of failure
Let all the variables R, L1, L2, L3
follow a normal distribution.
Coeff. Of Var (σ/ µ)
R 0.1
L1 0.1
L2 0.2
L3 0.3
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API 579
Reliability Index
The reliability index is given by
( )
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
3 2 1
σ σ σ σ
µ µ µ µ
β
+ + +
+ + −
=
R
R
Now we will try to estimate probability
of failure for different load
combinations
01/27/09 32
API 579
6.8x10
-
2
200 200 0 0
2.3x10
-
3
200 0 200 0
2.8x10
-
3
200 0 0 200
Pf Σµ µ
3
µ
2
µ
1
µ
R
= 300 Global Factor of safety = 1.5 i.e. µ
R
/Σµ = 1.5
Need for safety factors (PSF) on each component of
load for consistent Reliability
R/f = f1.L1 + f2.L2 + f3.L3
PSF ensures guaranteed lower bound reliability
01/27/09 33
API 579
Partial safety Factors
Ductile
Brittle
01/27/09 34
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Level 2 Analysis
6 – Compute the reference stress for primary
stresses
–reference stress solutions: Appendix D
7 – Compute the Load Ratio
8 – Compute the stress intensity attributed to
the primary loads
9 – Compute the reference stress for
secondary and residual stresses (used for Φ)
10 – Compute the stress intensity attributed to
the secondary and residual stresses
11 – Compute the plasticity interaction factor,
Φ in presence of secondary loads
p
ref
p
r
y
L
o
o
·
01/27/09 35
API 579
Level 2 Analysis
12 – Determine toughness ratio
13 – Evaluate results on FAD
P SR
I I
r
mat
K K
K
K
+ 4
·
( )
( )
( )
( )
2 6
(max)
1 0.14 0.3 0.7exp 0.65 for
P P P P
r r r r r
K L L L L
]
· + s
]
]
01/27/09 36
API 579
Level 2 Analysis
If Partial safety Factors are not
used
0
0.7
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
Lr
K
r
01/27/09 37
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Residual Stress Profiles

Listed in Appendix E of API 579 Section 9

Residual stress distributions are provided
for the following weld joint configurations
– Full Penetration Welds in Piping and Pressure
Vessel Cylindrical Shells
– Full Penetration Welds in Spheres and
Pressure Vessel Heads
– Full Penetration Welds in Storage Tanks
– Full Penetration and Fillet Welds at Corner
Joints
– Fillet Welds at Tee Joints
– Repair Welds
01/27/09 38
API 579
Residual stress profiles

Based on upper bound values of the
extensive numerical analyses and a
literature survey of published results

Residual stress distributions are provided
for both the as-welded and PWHT
conditions

Distinction is not made concerning the
material of construction
– Weld joint geometry
– Single V-Type
– Double V-Type
– Fillet welds
– Repair welds
01/27/09 39
API 579
Data required

The material specification

The material specified minimum yield
strength

The wall thickness of the component

The heat input used to make the weld

The type of weld (i.e. girth or
circumferential joint, longitudinal seam,
repair weld, or attachment weld)

The weld joint configuration (i.e. single V-
groove, double V-groove, corner joint,
fillet weld, or repair weld)

Procedures aimed at reducing the
residual stress level
– hydrotest to 150% of the maximum allowable
working pressure (MAWP)per the ASME Code,
Section VIII,
– post weld heat treatment per the original
construction code
01/27/09 40
API 579
Level 3 Analysis
Method A Assessment –Level 2 the FAD with
user specified Partial Safety Factors based on
a risk assessment
Method B Assessment – FAD is constructed
based on the actual material properties
( )
( )
( )
1 2
3
(max)
for 0.0
2
1 for 0
P
r ys
ref P P P
r r r r
P
r ys ref
P P
r r r
L
E
K L L L
L E
K L L
o
r
o r

| `
÷
· + < s
÷
. ,
· ·
( )
( )
1
ln 1
Where subscripts t = true, es = engineering
t es es
t es
o r o
r r
· +
· +
01/27/09 41
API 579
Level 3 Analysis
Method C Assessment –FAD is
constructed based on the actual loading
conditions, component geometry and
material properties
Method D Assessment – This method is a
ductile tearing analysis where the
fracture tearing resistance is defined as a
function of the amount of stable ductile
tearing
elastic
r
total
J
K
J
·
01/27/09 42
API 579
Level 3 Analysis

Method E Assessment – The recognized
assessment procedures listed below are
subject to supplemental requirements that
may include the use of Partial Safety Factors
or a probabilistic analysis.

BS PD6493 or BS 7910

Nuclear Electric R-6

SAQ/FoU Report 96/08

WES 2805 – 1997

DPFAD Methodology

EPFM using the J-integral

The J-integral-Tearing Modulus method
01/27/09 43
API 579
Remaining Life
Assessment (RLA)

Sub-critical Crack Growth
– Crack growth by fatigue
– Crack growth by stress corrosion cracking
– Crack growth by hydrogen assisted cracking
– Crack growth by corrosion fatigue

Growth of a pre-existing crack is controlled by
a crack tip stress intensity factor

Laws for crack growth rates for these
mechanisms have been provided in Appendix
F
01/27/09 44
API 579
Difficulties in RLA

Crack growth rates can be highly
sensitive to changes in the process
environment

Models are fitted in carefully
controlled conditions in a laboratory
experiment

Cracking often occurs as the result
of an upset in operating conditions

Average crack growth rate would be
meaningless in such instances

New cracks can initiate at other
locations in the structure
01/27/09 45
API 579
Procedure for RLA
1 – Perform a Level 3 assessment for the
initial crack size
If the component is acceptable apply remedial
measures to prevent further crack growth
2 – If effective remedial measures are not
possible and slow sub-critical crack
growth is expected
If a crack growth law exists for the material and
service environment: a crack growth analysis
can be performed else, a leak-before break
analysis should be performed
01/27/09 46
API 579
Procedure for RLA
3 – Compute the stress at the flaw
based on the future operating
conditions
4 – Determine an increment in crack
growth
5 – Perform a Level 3 assessment for
the current crack size
If the assessment point is outside of the
FAD or the crack is re-categorized as a
through-wall crack, then go to STEP 6;
otherwise, go to STEP 4 and continue to
grow the crack
01/27/09 47
API 579
Procedure for RLA
6 – Determine the time or number of stress
cycles for the current crack size (a
o
, c
o
) to reach
the limiting flaw size
Acceptable if time to reach the limiting flaw
size,with FOS, is more than the required operating
period
If the depth of the limiting flaw size is re-categorized
as a through-wall thickness crack, the conditions for
an acceptable leak before break (LBB) criteria
should be satisfied
7 – At the next inspection, establish the actual
crack growth rate, and re-evaluate the new flaw
conditions. Alternatively, repair or replace the
component or apply effective mitigation
measures
01/27/09 48
API 579
LBB Procedure
It may be possible to show that a
flaw can grow through the wall of a
component without causing a
catastrophic failure
In such cases, a leak can be detected
(taking into consideration the
contained fluid and type of
insulation) and remedial action could
be initiated to avoid a component
failure
01/27/09 49
API 579
Leak Before Break
01/27/09 50
API 579
LBB Procedure Limitations
The leak should be readily
detectable
Insulation
Tight crack
Contained fluid
The LBB methodology may not
be suitable for flaws near stress
concentrations or regions of high
residual stress
01/27/09 51
API 579
LBB Limitations
Flaw at a stress concentration
Flaw subjected to high
residual stresses
Flaw growth in
predominantly length
direction
01/27/09 52
API 579
LBB Limitations
Crack growth rate high
Adequate time must be available to
discover the leak and take the necessary
action
Possible adverse consequences of
developing a leak
hazardous materials
fluids operating below their boiling
point
fluids operating above their auto-
ignition temperature
01/27/09 53
API 579
LBB Procedure
1 –Demonstrate that the largest initial flaw size
left in the structure will not lead to fracture
during the life of the component.
2 –Determine the largest (critical) crack length of
a full through-wall crack below which
catastrophic rupture will not occur for all
applicable load cases.
3 – Compute the corresponding leak areas
associated with the critical crack lengths  
4 – Determine the leakage rate associated with
the crack area computed above, and
demonstrate that the associated leaks are
detectable with the selected leak detection
system
01/27/09 54
API 579
Remediation

Method 1 – Removal or repair of the crack. The
crack may be removed by blend grinding

Method 2 – Use of a crack arresting detail or
device

Method 3 – Performing physical changes to the
process stream

Method 4 – Application of solid barrier linings
or coatings to keep the environment isolated
from the base metal

Method 5 – Injection of water and/or chemicals
on a continuous basis to modify the
environment or the surface of the metal

Method 6 – Application of weld overlay

Method 7 – Use of leak monitoring and leak-
sealing devices
01/27/09 55
API 579
In-service monitoring
In all cases where sub-critical in-
service crack growth is permitted

in-service monitoring or

monitoring at a shutdown
inspection
of the crack growth by NDE is
required. The applicable NDE
method will depend on the specific
case.
01/27/09 56
API 579
Example Calculation

A plate of SA 516 Grade 70 steel

Edge crack, depth ‘a’ = 0.5 inch

Width of plate ‘W’ = 5 inch

Thickness ‘B’ = 1.25 inch

Service temp.’T’ = 100
o
F

Axial Load ‘F’ = 240 kips

Yield stress ‘Sy’ = 38 ksi

Toughness not known

Safe ? Using a Level 2 analysis
01/27/09 57
API 579
Solution

Kc, from Table 3.3 of API 579,
Tref = 40
o
F

01/27/09 58
API 579
Solution
01/27/09 59
API 579
FAD
Example of Level 2 FAD
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
Lr
K
r
(1.12, 0.559)
Load = 171 kips
01/27/09 60
API 579
Thank You