The mesh dependency of Rice and Tracey cavity growth factor (CGF) is overcome by integrating the CGF over a process zone surrounding the crack tip. This integral represents a modified damage potential. The critical value of the integral for crack initiation in weld material has been determined analyzing a welded CT specimen and comparing the computed crack initiation J with experimentally measured J-initiation value. This critical value is then employed to predict crack initiation load in 8” and 12” welded pipes having different measure of through-wall cracks at the center to predict the loads under four point bending loads. The computed values are compared with the experimentally measured values. A close agreement between the computed crack initiation loads with the experimentally measured values justifies the usefulness of the present modified damage potential.

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