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1 Scope

1.1 Philosophy of FITNET FFS approach

The approach described in this procedure is suitable for the assessment of metallic structures and
components with and without welds containing, or postulated to contain, flaws. The failure mechanisms
considered are fracture, fatigue, creep and corrosion, together with combinations of these failure modes. In
order to facilitate a unified assessment route through the FITNET FFS procedure, information is grouped
under following main Sections:

• Information required for assessment (Inputs): Section 5

• Assessment modules

-Fracture Module: Section 6

-Fatigue Module: Section 7

-Creep Module: Section 8

-Corrosion Module: Section 9

• Assessment and reporting of results (Output): Section 10

• Alternative and specific assessments for fracture: Section 11

• Additional information for fracture assessment: Section 12

The Volume I of the FITNET FFS Procedure contains these 12 Sections.

The Volume II contains Annexes and an additional volume contains case studies and tutorials used in FITNET
Training and Education seminars as well as to demonstrate cases used for validation of the procedures.

The philosophy of the approach in each of four assessment modules (Fracture, Fatigue, Creep and Corrosion
Modules) is differently structured. The following section provides short information on the modules of the
FITNET FFS Procedure.

Fracture Module:

The quality of input data is reflected in the sophistication and accuracy of the resulting analysis. A series of
levels is available, each of increasing complexity and each being less conservative than the next lower level;
consequently 'penalties' and 'rewards' accrue from the use of poor and high quality data respectively. This
procedural structure means that an unacceptable result at any level can become acceptable at a higher one.
The user need only perform the work necessary to reach an acceptable level and need not invest in
unnecessarily complicated tests or analysis.

Due to the hierarchical structure of data and assessment levels, the path selection through the procedure is
made based on the relative levels of contribution of brittle fracture and plastic collapse towards the overall
failure. Qualitative and quantitative guidance is provided for guiding the user in the direction that will yield
most benefit in terms of data improvement. The basis for this is the location of the initial analysis point in terms
of brittle fracture and plastic collapse. This can be assessed by either the Failure Assessment Diagram (FAD)
or the Crack Driving Force curve (CDF). The methods can be applied to determine the acceptability of a given
set of conditions, determine the value of a critical parameter, assess the safety margins against failure or
determine the probability of failure. Figure 1.1 shows the general decision steps and possible outcome.

© FITNET 2008 1-1

FITNET FFS – MK8 – Section 1: Scope

User knowledge Data quality Assessment aim

Type of
Type of data thoughness

Allowance for

Select level

Characteristic flaw Primary &

Analysis secondary stress

Select approach

Data distribution

Critical Safety Probabilistic

Acceptability margin
parameter analysis

Partial safety factors if appropriate

Satisfactory outcome?

Yes No

No further action
Refine data inputs, move to
required: report results
higher analysis option, re-
rate* or concede failure

* Re-rate could mean raising the NDT, reducing pressure etc.

Figure 1.1 - Generalised flowchart of decision steps and types of outcome for Fracture Module

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Jan. 2008 FITNET MK8

Fatigue Module:

In the FITNET FFS fatigue analysis there is a principal need to determine whether the analysis is intended to
determine the cyclic life to fatigue crack initiation for a specified load history at a critical location or to evaluate
the propagation of a reported or postulated flaw up to a critical size to produce fracture or local collapse.
Obviously, both aspects may need to be considered in cases for which the location of the reported flaw does
not coincide with that of highest loading. This Module provides five assessment routes for evaluating the
effects of cyclic loads on the service life of the defect-free component or component with postulated or real
defects. The FITNET FFS Fatigue Damage Assessment Routes are: Route 1) Nominal Stress, Route 2)
Structural Stress or Notch Stress, Route 3) Strain-Based Fatigue Life Curves, Route 4) Fatigue Crack
Propagation, Route 5) Non-Planar Flaw Assessment.

Covered by the above five assessment routes, two basic application scenarios are foreseen in the Fatigue

a) A design detail or feature of a component is to be assessed with respect to potential fatigue failure from that
feature, rather than from any identifiable flaw. The analysis is then based on the accumulation of fatigue
damage at a critical location on the component (fatigue damage analysis). In this case, the basic approach is
to determine the fluctuating stress range at the location under study and relate the analysis to the appropriate
fatigue life curves. Three different routes are proposed (Routes 1, 2 and 3), depending on the available
information about loading and flaw information, fatigue regime, and application specification (i.e., welded or
non welded component).

b) An actual or postulated flaw is to be assessed with respect to potential growth to a critical size under fatigue
loading. In general, such flaws would be considered to be planar (crack-like) regardless of their actual type. In
this case the analysis is focused on determination of the cyclic growth of the flaw (Route 4). However, a
supplementary, less conservative route is included specifically for assessing volumetric non-planar flaws
(Route 5).

FITNET Fatigue Module

No Detected or Yes
FITNET damage Flaw characterized as
analysis (FDA) planar

Yes No
Nominal Yes Nominal stress
stress fatigue analysis
approach? Fatigue crack Assessment
(Route 1)
growth (FCC) of non-
analysis planar flaws
No (Route 4) (Route 5)

Structural Yes Structural notch

notch stress stress fatigue
approach? analysis (Route 2)

Nonlinear, local
stress-strain Fatigue life
analysis (Route 3) estimate

Figure 1.2 – Generalised flowchart of assessment routes for fatigue module

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FITNET FFS – MK8 – Section 1: Scope

Creep Module:

The creep module specifies methods for assessing defects in structures operating at high temperatures and
subject to creep-fatigue loading conditions, see flow-chart shown in Figure 1.3. Creep is a time-dependent
phenomenon. Therefore, the creep module evaluates the times associated with three significant events. First,
the initiation time is the time prior to which no significant crack growth occurs. Secondly, the time associated
with creep-fatigue crack growth or the crack growth in a specified time is calculated. Finally, the time for creep
rupture damage to spread throughout the ligament ahead of a flaw must be evaluated. This last time can be
life-limiting even if no significant crack growth occurs in service.

Creep crack growth in Section 8 is generally based on reference stress methods for calculating the steady
state creep parameter, C . These methods are similar in basis to those used in the fracture module. Indeed,
the creep module includes an alternative time-dependent failure assessment diagram, which reduces to the
failure assessment diagram approach in the fracture module when creep strains are negligible. The creep
module also includes other alternative approaches and guidance for some specific applications.

Corrosion Module:

The corrosion module provides guidelines on the appropriate steps to take when an environmental assisted,
either by stress corrosion or corrosion fatigue, crack as well as local thin area (LTA) has been detected in
service and an assessment of the implications for structural integrity has to be done. Such an evaluation
should be made in the context of the perceived consequences of failure using appropriate risk-based
management methodologies. Since this is plant/component specific it is beyond the scope of this section. Hence,
this Module deals primarily with the Fitness-for-Service assessments of damage types due to environmental
assisted cracking (EAC), Figure 1.4, - covering stress corrosion cracking and corrosion fatigue – and Local
Thinned Area (LTA).

1.2 Limits of validity

The methods described in this procedure were derived by reviewing and collating existing information and
utilising the results of recently completed EU-Projects in the field of FFS. Furthermore, existing standards
such as R6 and BS 7910 as well as results of the SINTAP procedure have been used to develop various
sections of this procedure.

The materials to which the procedure can be applied cover the full range of metallic materials. Emphasis
throughout has been given to strength mis-matched welds in the Fracture Module.

The procedure is applicable to combinations of the following failure modes.

• Fracture

• Fatigue

• Creep and other high temperature failure modes

• Corrosion (Environmentally assisted cracking, local thin areas)

The failure mode of buckling is not covered by this procedure.

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Jan. 2008 FITNET MK8

Establish cause of cracking.

Characterize initial defect

Is there evidence of stress corrosion Yes Special

cracking, environmentally assisted Step 1
cracking or bulk creep damage?

Define plant history and future operational

requirements: steady service loads, Step 2
temperatures; other loadings; life to date t0;
future life required, ts

Collect materials data Step 3

Perform basic stress Step 4


Calculate margin against

time-independent fracture Step 5
for initial defect size

Margin acceptable Take remedial action
No Future service
Is creep or fatigue significant? Step 6
Perform defect assessment
flowchart of Figure 8.2 or 8.3 Step 7 - 11

Perform sensitivity Step 12


Yes Future service

Are margins satisfactory?
acceptable for time, ts
Can more precise calculations be Step 13
Yes Can more precise materials data be
Report results

Yes No
Can service parameters be defined
more accurately? Take remedial action

Figure 1.3 – Flowchart for overall creep assessment procedure

(NOTE: Figures 8.2 and 8.3 are given in Section 8)

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FITNET FFS – MK8 – Section 1: Scope

Start EAC

Determine operating
conditions and loading

Establish cause of

Determine flaw

Determine material
tensile, growth rate,
toughness properties

Determine stress
distribution at flaw

Determine stress
intensity factor KI

No Yes

Calculate critical
flaw size

Determine crack
growth rate

Calculate time to

inspection interval

Flaw size Yes


Flaw not Flaw tolerable till
tolerable, Take next inspection
remedial action interval

Figure 1.4 – Flowchart for EAC Procedure

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