The paper discusses numerically based virtual techniques of creep crack growth predictions in a fracture mechanics component. The material properties used are for 316H stainless steels and the constitutive behaviour of the steel is described by a power law creep model. A damage-based approach is used to predict the crack propagation rate in compact tension (C(T)) specimens and the data are correlated against an independently determined C* parameter. Elastic-plastic-creep analyses are performed using two different crack growth criteria to predict crack extension under plane stress and plane strain conditions. The NSW and NSW-MOD strain exhaustion models are applied to compare to the experimental data and FE predictions. The plane strain crack growth rate predicted from the numerical analysis is found to be less conservative than the plane strain NSW model but more conservative than plane strain NSW-MOD model, for values of C* within the limits of the present creep crack growth testing standards. At higher loads and C* values, the plane strain crack growth rates, predicted using an elastic-plastic-creep material response, approach is considered and compared to the plane strain NSW-MOD model.

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