TerraPower has developed sophisticated computational analysis tools to support the design and fabrication of high temperature components to be used in the Traveling Wave Reactor (TWR). One of the key material properties required to predict material damage and remaining lifetime of key in-reactor components is the thermal creep rupture time. Although TerraPower optimized ferritic-martensitic (FM) HT9 steel has shown consistent improvement in yield stress and creep rupture strength through uniaxial tensile tests, extrapolations of existing test data are still needed to fully support the complex analysis used in the TWR design.
Traditional Larson-Miller analysis for creep rupture was used to compare the TerraPower optimized HT9 steel to the existing historical database. The results of the Larson-Miller analysis were compared to the results from the Wilshire analysis to explore the relative advantages and disadvantages of each method. The best estimate values for fitting constants and activation energies were determined for both methods, taking into account the effects of the higher yield stress observed in TerraPower optimized HT9 compared to historic HT9.
Likewise, the best estimate creep rupture stresses for TerraPower optimized HT9 at various times and temperatures were determined by extrapolations using both the Larson-Miller and Wilshire analysis. The allowable stresses of historical and TerraPower optimized HT9 steels were compared to those of existing materials (9Cr-1Mo-V) in the ASME high temperature code. The comparison of analysis methods and rupture stresses demonstrate that TerraPower FM steel thermal creep performance and analysis methods are comparable to existing ASME qualified materials for high temperature applications.