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This article provides an overview of the structural design process and discusses the life-limiting factors, including material defects, fabrication practices, and stress. It details the role of a failure investigator in performing nondestructive inspection. The article provides information on fatigue life assessment, elevated-temperature life assessment, and fitness-for-service life assessment.

Optimized modeling of fracture-critical structural components and connections requires the application of elastic-plastic fracture mechanics. Such applications, however, can require sophisticated analytical techniques such as crack tip opening displacement (CTOD), failure assessment diagram (FAD), and deformation plasticity failure assessment diagram (DPFAD). This article presents the origin and description of FAD and addresses R6 FAD using J-integral. It details the fracture criteria of BS 7910. The factors to be considered during the use of FAD and the applications of FAD are also reviewed.

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