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MECOS (Metallic Component Margins under High Seismic Loads) is an international program organised under an initiative of the OECD-NEA (Nuclear Energy Agency), WGIAGE (Working Group on Integrity and Ageing of components and structures). The main objective of the MECOS benchmark is to quantify the margins in seismic analysis of piping components for high seismic loads, associated to existing design practices.
The experimental reference case is based on tests recently achieved by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in India. The specimen consist of two representative 6" piping systems (stainless steel and carbon steel), with lumped masses tested under a sufficiently high seismic load (up to 2.5 g zero period acceleration) and an internal pressure to obtain a pipe failure. Strain gauges on critical locations (elbows, tee) and accelerometers are implemented to document the system behavior during dynamic runs. The observed failure mode is fatigue-ratcheting in an elbow.
The participation to the MECOS benchmark is open to experts from research organizations, technical support organizations, regulatory authorities, consulting firms, and in general to all those accepting to perform computational prediction of experimentally tested piping systems.