The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) provides the full and simplified design-by-analysis probabilistic assessments for determining acceptance of nuclear grade graphite core components. The assessments can be characterized by three parts: (1) a component stress distribution, often determined by a finite element (FE) model; (2) a Weibull probability density function (pdf) that characterizes the experimental tensile strength distribution; and (3) the postprocessor, which combines the FE model and the Weibull strength distribution in accordance with the full and simplified assessments to determine component acceptance. It is known that the level of mesh refinement in FE models can affect the modeled component’s calculated stress distribution. Depending on the component geometry, the stress distribution may converge with sufficient refinement. It was previously unknown whether the acceptance decision resulting from the full and simplified assessments might change even with sufficient mesh refinement. This study explores that question using experimental strength results for a dog-bone geometry for two graphite grades, IG-110 and PCEA. The simplified assessment has two criteria that must be met, the first limits the combined membrane stress by the allowable stress and the second limits the peak equivalent stress by the allowable stress scaled by the ratio of flexural to tensile strength. In the application of the simplified assessment, convergence of the peak equivalent stress required extreme mesh refinement, however, the acceptance decision was not affected. It is hypothesized that more complex geometries with stress concentrations may present mesh refinement effects on the simplified assessment acceptance decision. Mesh refinement did affect the acceptance decision in the full assessment for the applied pressure loadings in this study. This work suggests component stress distribution convergence is not a sufficient criteria for POF convergence in the full assessment and that mesh refinement should continue until the POF has converged, especially where the resulting POF is bordering the SRC acceptable POF limit.

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