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Characterisation of the Residual Stress Field and Mechanical Properties of a Narrow-Gap Girth-Welded Stainless Steel Pipe and Subsequent Application to a Numerical Model

[+] Author Affiliations
Robert J. A. McCluskey, Andrew H. Sherry, Martin R. Goldthorpe

University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Paper No. PVP2011-57654, pp. 1065-1072; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 3: Design and Analysis
  • Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 17–21, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4453-3
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Girth-butt welds are used to join sections of stainless steel pipe in the primary circuit of Pressurised Water Reactors. The welding process creates residual stress fields across the weldment, which can contribute to the crack driving force when a defect is present. Assessment procedures account for such defects, enabling safety justifications to be made for continued operation of nuclear power plant. Such procedures require the size and nature of the residual stress field to be determined in order to make reliable structural integrity assessments. This paper describes the investigation of the residual stress field and fracture behaviour of a recently developed narrow-gap 304-stainless steel girth-butt weld in a primary circuit pipe. Two residual stress measurement techniques, Neutron Diffraction (ND) and incremental Deep Hole Drilling (iDHD), were used to measure the original residual stress field in the pipe weld. A second pipe weld specimen was used to fabricate tensile and fracture toughness specimens from which the mechanical properties of the weld material were determined. The residual stress and mechanical test data were used to develop numerical models of the pipe weld containing a postulated circumferential defect under an applied axial load. The numerical simulation results were applied within a failure assessment diagram, comparing different interaction parameters on the prediction of component failure load.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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