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Fatigue Strength of Socket Welds Repaired by Structural Weld Overlay: Reference ASME Section XI Code Case N-666

[+] Author Affiliations
Steve McCracken

AmerenUE Callaway Nuclear Plant, Fulton, MO

Paper No. PVP2005-71482, pp. 917-926; 10 pages
  • ASME 2005 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, July 17–21, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4191-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3763-7
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


ASME Code Case N-666 provides alternative rules for repair of a cracked and leaking small bore socket weld by installation of a structural weld overlay [1]. The crack is not removed but is encapsulated and sealed under the weld overlay. Vibration fatigue testing reported by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) demonstrates that socket welds repaired by the method specified in ASME Code Case N-666 have equivalent or better fatigue strength compared to standard socket welds. This paper investigates fatigue test data and fracture mechanics analyses for standard socket welds and compares this to the vibration fatigue strength exhibited by overlay repaired socket welds. A relationship based on fatigue testing of a standard socket weld with root defects was proposed by Japanese researchers to correlate the reduction in fatigue strength with increasing root defect size. This relationship is compared to an EPRI finite element model that was developed to evaluate the stress intensity factor at the root of a standard socket weld. A correction factor is proposed for estimation of the stress intensity factor at the crack tip of a socket weld repaired by weld overlay. The correction factor is derived from a three-dimensional solution for straight pipe with an inside surface circumferential crack and from the finite element model for standard sized socket welds. Finally, weld residual stress analyses reported by Japanese researchers for standard socket welds are compared to weld residual stress data from recent thermal-mechanical finite element analyses for overlay repaired socket welds. The threshold for fatigue crack propagation and the influence of weld residual stress is presented to explain the high vibration fatigue strength exhibited by socket welds repaired by the method of Code Case N-666.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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