Integrity of structural components depends on the deformation and fracture behavior of materials. For evaluating the material condition in-service, it is generally not feasible or practical or advisable to cut samples from operating structures. Non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques are required to evaluate the mechanical properties. Although several NDT techniques such as ultrasound, magnetic strength, Barkhausen noise, microhardness etc., are employed for estimating the mechanical property degradation, these methodologies are generally empirical and indirect. Automated Ball Indentation (ABI) is a non-destructive testing technique for direct measurement of mechanical and fracture properties of metallic engineering materials. Because of the small area over which the test is carried out, it is possible to determine point to point variations in the mechanical and fracture properties, such as those that exist in weldments. Although ABI technique is non-intrusive, it is a state-of-the-art mechanical test that measures directly the current/local deformation behavior of the material. In this paper, we present results from studies on the application of ABI technique to determine tensile and fracture properties of ferritic steels, an austenitic stainless steel, a nickel base superalloy and Zircaloy in different thermo-mechanical conditions. The effects of aging and cold work on these properties were determined from the ABI tests. Gradients in mechanical properties of ferritic steel welds, particularly in the narrow heat-affected zone, were clearly established. ABI technique was found to be useful in determining the anisotropy in the tensile properties of Zircaloy cladding tubes. The technique has potential as a non-destructive method for assessing structural integrity of aged components.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.