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Stress Relaxation Modelling

[+] Author Affiliations
Andrea Riva

Ansaldo Sviluppo Energia, Genova, Italy

Maurizio Maldini

Istituto per l’Energetica e le Interfasi (IENI)-CNR, Milano, Italy

Paper No. GT2015-43755, pp. V07AT28A016; 8 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2015: Turbine Technical Conference and Exposition
  • Volume 7A: Structures and Dynamics
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 15–19, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5676-5
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Modern gas turbine bolts experience severe operational conditions due to high temperatures and elevated axial stresses, generated by the tightening couple applied during the turbine assembly. In such conditions the relaxation of the initial stress due to viscous phenomena has to be taken into account in order to guarantee the proper operation of the turbine.

Relaxation modelling can either be based on strain controlled relaxation tests or load controlled creep tests. Both solutions present difficulties: relaxation tests entail critical experimental issues, whereas creep tests may not be significant for the given strain controlled operational condition of a gas turbine bolt. Some of these problems will be described in the paper and solutions will be provided.

The performances of several models for stress relaxation quantification will be compared, highlighting advantages and disadvantages of each approach. In particular, great emphasis will be given to those aspects which are relevant for bolt design or tightening load calculation. For instance, some important requirements are: firstly, the possibility to implement the given model easily in finite element calculations; secondly, the possibility to accurately calculate the relaxation in the second life of a serviced bolt after re-tightening; lastly, the possibility to reduce as much as possible the time required for the experimental tests.

In order to evaluate the coefficients of the different models considered in the study, creep tests were performed at 450°C and 475°C with applied stresses producing a strain ε = 1% in a time range of 1000–10000h and stress relaxation tests were performed at the same temperatures with initial strain in the range of 0.2%. After some stress relaxation, the specimens were reloaded at the initial stress several times in order to simulate the aforesaid service conditions of bolts.

In the paper it will be shown how a valid model, capable of predicting the stress relaxation with acceptable accuracy, can be fed either by creep or relaxation tests, provided that the experimental tests and the related data elaboration are conducted with the proper methodology. This scenario provides the engineer responsible for material model creation with a remarkable flexibility, essential to fulfill the requirements of modern GT design, in terms of accuracy, promptness of data collection and possibility of FEM implementation.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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