The assessment of steam generator tubes with defects is of great importance for the life extension of steam generators. Circumferential through-wall cracks are the most severe of all tube circumferential defects, and usually require plugging of the affected tubes. The assessment of the tubes with through-wall circumferential cracks or cracks projected to become through-wall can be conducted using the failure assessment diagram (FAD) approach. This approach requires the calculation of the stress intensity factor and the limit load. The available stress intensity factor and limit load solutions for cracked tubes do not include the constraining effect of the tube supports. In the present paper, it is shown that this can be overly conservative. Solutions for stress intensity factors and limit loads are presented for tubes with circumferential through-wall cracks including the effect from the tube support plates. Different values of support spacing are considered. Based on these solutions, the assessment of a typical steam generator tube is demonstrated.

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Journal Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology, Transactions of the ASME
Wang, X, & Reinhardt, W. (Wolf). (2003). On the assessment of through-wall circumferential cracks in steam generator tubes with tube supports. Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology, Transactions of the ASME, 125(1), 85–90. doi:10.1115/1.1511737