A mid-term newsletter from FITNET
PDF file for printing.
Established in 2002 to develop a consensus for a European fitness-for-service
(FFS) procedure, The FITNET network is now mid-way through its four-year
term. This is a good time to review achievements and look ahead to what
is planned for the next two years, and beyond.
FITNET is organised via committees operating under the overall management
of the Network Management Committee.
The Working Groups (WGs) cover a particular failure/damage mechanism
(fracture, fatigue, creep and corrosion), while the Work Packages (WPs)
cover a particular aspect of the network as a whole, such as training,
case studies and procedure development. Committees include representatives
of industry, universities and research institutes, who work together to
agree on procedures that are both rigorous and practically applicable
to a range of industries.
Working Group news
Comprising over 40 members, this large WG is headed by Corus (GB). The
group has a wide range of expertise, including dynamic fracture, the use
of the Master Curve and fracture under mixed mode. Small sub-groups have,
therefore, been established on a variety of topics and members have assumed
responsibility for supplying definitive statements for particular parts
of the procedure.
Caterpillar in France leads WG2, which has more than 20 members. The
group has successfully structured a FITNET fatigue assessment procedure
and also contributed to the other work packages such as case studies and
Led by British Energy (GB), WG3 has made excellent progress on providing
information to the various work packages, including procedure development,
case studies and training.
This is a small working group under the leadership of Shell (The Netherlands).
Its scope of work covers not only the assessment of failure by general
and localised corrosion but also environment-sensitive fracture and corrosion
Work Package news
GKSS in Germany is responsible for the co-ordination of the network.
To date, five full network meetings have taken place (in Germany, Britain,
Italy, The Netherlands and Belgium), as well as informal interim meetings
Since the first FITNET brochure was issued in March 2002, several new
members and self-funded participants have joined the consortium.
Institut de Soudure (France)
Skoda Vyzkum s.r.o (Czech Republic)
Bureau Veritas (France)
Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt. e.V. (Germany)
National Physical Laboratory (GB)
Pechiney CRV (France)
Blendtech Ltd (GB)
Schweißtechnische Zentralanstalt (Austria)
Amey Vectra Ltd (GB)
EDF Electricite de France (France)
BISAFE (Czech Republic)
This brings the size of the network to some 50 organisations and 19 countries,
including participation from several of the new EU countries (Poland,
Slovenia, Hungary and the Czech Republic), from Switzerland and from outside
Another important role of WP1 is to ensure that the interfaces between
WGs are addressed adequately. For example, at what temperature does a
user need to consider creep as well as fracture in an assessment, and
how should creep-fatigue interaction be treated?
State of the art review
This WP has now completed its work: a Europe-wide survey on the use of
and need for FFS technology, and a plan for the structure of the future
procedure and the activities of the network, based on the survey. The
reports of WP2 (led by JRC in The Netherlands) are now available from
the public area of the FITNET website.
A structure for the procedure has been agreed, so that different working
groups can work on the procedure simultaneously and achieve a harmonised
style, layout and terminology.
Case studies and procedure implementation
VTT in Finland is leading this Work Package, based on input from several
participants. A compilation of case studies of failure by fracture, fatigue,
creep and corrosion is now essentially complete. These case studies will
be used to test and validate certain aspects of the procedure, and to
provide training material for WP6.
Dissemination and IPR
A network website has been running since the start of the project, both
for the public dissemination of information relating to the network, and
for the easy retrieval of committee documents and presentations. The website
contains a public area with information in 14 European languages, links
to related projects and FFS-related websites, information on FFS-related
events (conferences, seminars, courses) and copies of consortium reports,
as they become publicly available. There is also a password-protected
participants' area containing contact details, a discussion forum, and
working areas for each FITNET committee.
Other dissemination activities have been carried out by network participants,
eg presentations about FITNET at conferences, and journal articles in
several European languages. As the drafting of the procedure progresses,
WP5 will also be increasingly involved in copyright and other IPR (intellectual
property rights) issues.
Training and education
The first training seminar and workshop (organised by the University
of Cantabria, UC) was held in Santander, Spain on 16-18 March 2004. This
seminar, aimed mainly at graduate and undergraduate students in the local
area, focuses on both the power and the shortcomings of existing FFS procedures
(for example, BS7910, R6, SINTAP, API579), and looks ahead to the development
of a European procedure. Similar training events are planned for other
parts of Europe, under UC supervision.
The UC has also developed a comprehensive Training Package covering fracture,
fatigue, creep and corrosion and Environmentally Assisted Cracking, available
via the FITNET website.
CESI, leader of WP7, has opened negotiations with two standardisation
bodies: CEN (representing European standardisation) and UNI (Italian standardisation).
The eventual aim is to publish the output of FITNET in the form of a CEN
document via a CEN Workshop leading to a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA).
This is a mechanism which allows for relatively rapid publication of an
agreed procedure, but without it having the status of a CEN standard;
a CWA is particularly appropriate for an FFS procedures, which can be
seen as a framework for calculation, rather than a set of rigid rules.
Moreover, publication through a CWA would not cause standstill on existing
national procedures such as BS7910.
The consortium recognised that certain activities were not covered by
a single WG or WP, but were relevant to all failure modes. Task Groups
have therefore been established to cover these 'cross-group' interests
- NDE (non-destructive examination); how do we detect and size flaws
for an FFS assessment, and what can we say about the reliability/sizing
capability of various techniques?
- Residual stress; how can we measure or estimate the influence of residual
stresses (from welding, forming or fit-up) on fracture, creep and fatigue?
- Stress analysis; what techniques can be used and how are the results
applied in an FFS assessment?
- Stress intensity (K-) solutions; do the solutions in existing procedures
cover most users' needs? Are there any anomalies? Can we advise on the
most appropriate solution in cases where several have been published?
Materials; what are the material properties required for a FFS analysis
and from where can the information be obtained? When the necessary information
is unavailable for a specific material, how can realistic and conservative
estimates of the property be determined?