Residual Stresses in Steel and Zirconium Weldments

[+] Author and Article Information
J. H. Root, C. E. Coleman, J. W. Bowden

AECL, Chalk River Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada K0J 1J0

M. Hayashi

Mechanical Engineering Research Laboratory, Hitachi, Ibaraki, Japan

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 119(2), 137-141 (May 01, 1997) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2842274 History: Received February 26, 1996; Revised May 23, 1996; Online February 11, 2008


Three-dimensional scans of residual stress within intact weldments provide insight into the consequences of various welding techniques and stress-relieving procedures. The neutron diffraction method for nondestructive evaluation of residual stresses has been applied to a circumferential weld in a ferritic steel pipe of outer diameter 114 mm and thickness 8.6 mm. The maximum tensile stresses, 250 MPa in the hoop direction, are found at mid-thickness of the fusion zone. The residual stresses approach zero within 20 mm from the weld center. The residual stresses caused by welding zirconium alloy components are partially to blame for failures due to delayed hydride cracking. Neutron diffraction measurements in a GTA-welded Zr-2.5Nb plate have shown that heat treatment at 530°C for 1 h reduces the longitudinal residual strain by 60 percent. Neutron diffraction has also been used to scan the residual stresses near circumferential electron beam welds in irradiated and unirradiated Zr-2.5Nb pressure tubes. The residual stresses due to electron beam welding appear to be lower than 130 MPa, even in the as-welded state. No significant changes occur in the residual stress pattern of the electron-beam welded tube, during a prolonged exposure to thermal neutrons and the temperatures typical of an operating nuclear reactor.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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