Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) and corrosion fatigue (CF) of 12% Cr stainless steel components can lead to reduced availability of steam turbines (ST). Significant operation and maintenance (O&M) costs are required to protect against CF and SCC in both aging and new higher efficiency ST systems. Shot peening has been used to reduce the overall operating tensile stresses, however corrosion pits, foreign object damage (FOD), and erosion can penetrate below the relatively shallow residual compression providing initiation sites for SCC and CF. A means of reliably introducing a deep layer of compressive residual stresses in critical ST components will greatly reduce O&M costs by improving CF life, increasing damage tolerance, reducing SCC susceptibility, and extending the service life of components.

Low plasticity burnishing (LPB) is an advanced surface enhancement process providing a means of introducing compressive residual stresses into metallic components for enhanced fatigue, damage tolerance, and SCC performance. LPB processing can be applied as a repair process during scheduled overhauls or on new production components.

High cycle fatigue tests were conducted on Type 410 stainless steel, a common alloy used in critical ST components, to compare the corrosion fatigue benefits of LPB to shot peening. Samples were tested in an active corrosion medium of 3.5% NaCl solution. Mechanical or accelerated corrosion damage was placed in test samples to simulate foreign object damage, pitting damage and water droplet erosion prior to testing. High cycle fatigue and residual stress results are shown. Compression from LPB was much deeper than the damage providing a nominal 100X improvement in fatigue life compared to the shallow compression from SP. Life extension from LPB offers significant O&M cost savings, improved reliability, and reduced outages for ST power generators.

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