Motivated by the response of industrial piping under seismic loading conditions, the present study examines the behavior of steel process piping elbows, subjected to strong cyclic loading conditions. A set of experiments is conducted on elbow specimens subjected to constant-amplitude in-plane cyclic bending, resulting into failure in the low-cycle-fatigue range. The experimental results are used to develop a low-cycle-fatigue curve within the strain-based fatigue design framework. The experimental work is supported by finite element analyses, which account for geometrical and material nonlinearities. Using advanced plasticity models to describe the behavior of elbow material, the analysis focuses on localized deformations at the critical positions where cracking occurs. Finally, the relevant provisions of design codes (ASME B31.3 and EN 13480) for elbow design are discussed and assessed, with respect to the experimental and numerical findings.

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