ASME III NB-3200 provides a method for carrying out fatigue calculations using a simplified elastic-plastic analysis procedure. This allows a correction to elastic analysis to be performed in place of a full elastic-plastic analysis. Two mutually exclusive factors are described: the Poisson’s ratio correction accounts for surface stress exceeding the yield strength of the material and the Ke factor accounts for gross section plasticity. The recently released ASME Code Case N-779 provides a more complex but less onerous calculation of the Ke factor. Correction factors from the JSME and RCC-M codes have also been considered in this paper.

The conservatism of different plasticity correction factors has been examined by calculating a ratio between the equivalent strain range from elastic-plastic Finite Element (FE) models and the strain range from elastic FE models and comparing this to calculated plasticity correction factors. Results show the potential for both the current ASME and Code Case Ke corrections to under-predict the strains when compared to those from an elastic-plastic FE assessment.

A preliminary investigation has been carried out into an alternative correction factor based on linearised stress and local thermal stress ranges. This addresses the discontinuity between the two correction methods for surface and sectional plasticity which has been identified as a feature of the ASME correction methodology.

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