Welding residual stress is one of the most important factors of stress corrosion cracking (SCC) for austenitic stainless steel in pressure boundary piping in nuclear power plants. The effect of excessive loading, such as an earthquake, on the residual stress was evaluated by three-dimensional analyses based on finite element method (FEM). The FEM analyses were performed using three-dimensional model for a 250A piping butt weld of low carbon stainless steel of Type 316L. A welding simulation method used in this work is based on the moving heat source with the double ellipsoid model and was confirmed by comparing with the experimental measurements. After conducting welding residual stress simulation, several loading patterns of bending moment and uni-axial displacements have been applied to a model by varying amount of moment and displacement. The analyses indicated that higher loading to bending and axial stresses caused higher relaxation of welding residual stress near piping welds. The difference in the effect of loading direction was observed for both cases. It is concluded that the SCC growth rate might be decreased as loading level increased.

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