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Case History of Solidification Cracks in 2-1/4Cr 1Mo Low Carbon Welds — Cholla Unit 2

[+] Author Affiliations
Marvin J. Cohn, Steve R. Paterson

Aptech Engineering Services, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA

Dan Nass

Arizona Public Service Company

Paper No. PVP2002-1317, pp. 119-124; 6 pages
  • ASME 2002 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Fitness for Service Evaluations and Non-Linear Analysis
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 5–9, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4653-9
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


An examination of the main steam girth welds at Cholla Unit 2 was performed during a scheduled outage in Spring 1999. The examination revealed two distinct types of cracks. Nine girth welds had extensive arrays of small discontinuous ultrasonic examination indications in the weld deposit near the weld roots. Two girth welds had cracks connected to the outside surface of the pipe. Justifications for removing and replacing 11 of the 35 examined main steam girth welds are presented in this paper. Nondestructive examinations revealed small discontinuous indications near the root of several welds and throughout the weld deposit. In the most severe cases, these weld metal indications extended all the way around the circumference of the pipe. A metallurgical evaluation of both shop and field welds determined that the indications were arrays of small solidification cracks, typically 1/16-inch high by 1/32-inch long. The solidification cracks were attributed to wide weave beads in combination with low carbon content consumables. There was also a concern that those weld deposits with very low carbon (less than 0.05 weight percent) may have significantly shorter creep lives. In addition to the fabrication-induced solidification cracks, two girth welds were identified with service-induced creep cracks. The first of these was detected during ultrasonic and fluorescent magnetic particle examinations of selected welds. The second was detected visually in an auxiliary steam piping weld connection that was identified as a high priority weld resulting from a life consumption evaluation of the piping system.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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