Effects of alternative inspection strategies on piping reliability

M. A. Khaleel, F. A. Simonen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper applies probabilistic fracture mechanics calculations to determine the effects of inspection on leak probabilities for piping. The approach has been to perform calculations in a structured parametric format, with the parameters selected to cover the range of pipe sizes, degradation mechanisms, operating stresses, and materials relevant to the piping systems of interest. In this paper, the calculations were intended to be generally applicable to mechanical and thermal fatigue of stainless steel piping. Specific areas of uncertainty addressed by the probabilistic calculations of this paper are the numbers of initial flaws, the distributions of flaw sizes, the crack growth rates for these initial flaws, and the probability of detection curves and inspection schedules that describe inservice inspections which are performed to detect these growing flaws. The effectiveness of an inspection strategy is quantified by the parameter `Factor of Improvement', which is the relative increase in piping reliability due to a given inspection strategy as compared with the strategy of performing no inspection. The results of a systematic set of calculations are presented in this paper that address inspection effectiveness for operating stresses giving crack growth rates ranging from very low to very high. Inspection strategies are described that address three reference levels of ultrasonic inspection reliability, intervals between inspections ranging from 1 to 10 years, and both preservice and inservice inspections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-140
Number of pages26
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2000
EventASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference (PVPC 97) - Orlano, FL, USA
Duration: 27 Jul 199731 Jul 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Mechanical Engineering

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