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New BS 7910:2019 Improves Transparency, Agility and Accuracy

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Tue, 14 January, 2020

A refreshed and revised BS 7910 (‘Guide to Methods for Assessing the Acceptability of Flaws in Metallic Structures’) is now available. This is the UK national standard for assessing the defect-tolerance of safety-critical structures (in particular welded structures), based mainly on engineering fracture mechanics. It allows users to assess the safety of a component that contains flaws (for example cracks, welding defects, corrosion damage) from failure by fracture, plastic collapse, fatigue and creep.

This is the fourth major revision of BS 7910, and the overall structure and terminology of the document will be very familiar to existing users. Whilst the entire document has been scrutinised and updated, several new features should be highlighted:  

  • The document has been re-structured into self-contained parts to allow insertion of new references and facilitate future editing
  • A new annex (Annex V) has been added, addressing strain-based assessment (key to the pipeline industry)
  • Annex P (‘Compendium of reference stress and limit load solutions’) has been revised to clarify and/or correct the earlier solutions
  • Cross-references have been added to a series of papers published in a special issue of the International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping, giving the evidence base for the procedure and examples of its application.

BS 7910 is developed and maintained by a BSI committee, chaired by TWI’s Isabel Hadley and managed by BSI’s Takiyah Williams. The committee encompasses representatives of industry, universities and research/technology organisations, covering a wide range of industry sectors.

Isabel said, “This new revision is a significant step forward for BS 7910, improving its transparency, traceability, agility and accuracy considerably. Standards drafting needs widespread expert input and I would like to thank all the committee and panels, including technical specialists and BSI staff, for their professionalism and commitment.”

Takiyah added: “BSI committee WEE/37 Acceptance levels for flaws in welds, led by Isabel Hadley, and BSI colleagues worked tirelessly to produce BS 7910:2019. This revision improves BS 7910 in several ways and BSI thanks everyone involved for their efforts and time.”   

The new standard can be bought from BSI’s online shop or through subscription via BSOL (British Standards online).

TWI Stakeholders, including Industrial and Professional Members, other customers, staff, students and collaborating organisations, can see how the revised standard will affect them here.

For more information please email:


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