A process-structure-property model for welding of 9Cr power plant components: The influence of welding process temperatures on in-service cyclic plasticity response
Mac Ardghail, Padraig
Leen, Sean B.
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Mac Ardghail, P., Harrison, N., & Leen, S. B. (2019). A process-structure-property model for welding of 9Cr power plant components: The influence of welding process temperatures on in-service cyclic plasticity response. International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping, 173, 26-44. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpvp.2019.04.015
A process-structure-property methodology is presented for welding of 9Cr steels under representative flexible operating conditions for a typical thermal power plant girth-welded pipe. The welding-induced evolution of microstructural variables is represented via (i) a solid-state phase transformation model for martensite-austenite transformation and (ii) empirical equations for prior austenite grain size, martensite lath width, hardness and M23C6 precipitate diameter and area fraction, calibrated from published heat treatment data. The temperature-dependent, physically-based, unified viscoplastic constitutive model, which includes a fatigue damage initiation criterion, is based on dislocation density evolution and is validated against high temperature cyclic plasticity data at a range of relevant temperatures for parent material P91, including combined isotropic-kinematic hardening effects. This model is shown to successfully predict weld-life reduction factor for cross-weld tests. The effects of key welding process variables on the microstructure gradient in the heat-affected zone, and associated thermo-mechanical, cyclic plasticity response are assessed. The inter-critical and fine-grained heat-affected zones are identified as the critical regions, consistent with observed plant experience. Increasing post-weld heat-treatment temperature from 760 degrees C to 780 degrees C is predicted to be detrimental due to increased precipitate coarsening. In contrast, increasing preheat and interpass temperature from 350 degrees C to 400 degrees C is predicted to be beneficial due to increased hardness in the critical regions.
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