Welding Residual Stresses in Ferritic Power Plant Steels

J. A. Francis, H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia and P. J. Withers


Many of the degradation mechanisms relevant to power plant components can be exacerbated by stresses which reside within the material. Good design or structural integrity assessments require therefore, an accounting of residual stresses, which often are introduced during welding. To do this it is necessary to characterise the stresses, but this may not be possible in thick components using non-destructive methods. These difficulties, and a paucity of relevant engineering data, have led to an increasing emphasis on the development and validation of suitable modelling tools. Advances are prominent in the estimation of welding residual stresses in austenitic stainless steels. The progress has been less convincing in the case of ferritic alloys, largely due to the complexities associated with the solid-state phase transformations that occur in multi-pass welding. We review here the metallurgical issues that arise in ferritic steel welds, and relate these to the difficulties in calculating residual stresses, and highlights some stimulating areas for future research.

Materials Science and Technology, Vol. 23, 2007, 1009-1020

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