Operating experience with steam generators has shown that axial surface cracks present one of the most common causes of loss of steam generator tube integrity. An accurate computation of the plastic limit pressure represents a key for the prediction of structural integrity and reliability of pressurized tubes. A greater number of existing solutions for limit pressure of a cracked tube have been developed either analytically, based on a simple equilibrium stress field, or empirically, based on test data [
]. These solutions are generally shown to be too conservative for components with part-through-thickness defects. Recently, a finite element based plastic limit pressure expression for cylinders with external axial semi-elliptical surface cracks has been developed in Ref. [
]. However, the proposed expression is applicable to a very limited range of crack dimensions, and therefore the new extended solutions are desirable.