In the nuclear industry narrow gap welding techniques are used to perform junctions between ferritic low alloy steel heavy section components and austenitic stainless steel piping systems. The residual stresses in Dissimilar Metals Welds (DMW) may influence the lifetime and functionality of the welded components. In Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) piping systems, weld residual stresses in particular increased the susceptibility to primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC) in the past. It is therefore necessary to develop and validate methods for a reliable residual stress and distortion prediction.
Numerical welding simulations for predicting residual stresses are commonly used in nuclear industry and their development is progressing fast during the recent years. As part of the European project STYLE — Structural Integrity for Lifetime Management — a case study was launched to assess the capability of such simulations.
The mock-up in this case study is provided by AREVA NP SAS. It is a pipe with a narrow gap dissimilar metal weld. The pipe thickness is about 40 mm and the outer diameter is 352 mm after final machining. In this assembly a 316L austenitic pipe is welded to an A508 Class 3 ferritic pipe by means of Alloy 52 Gas Tungsten Arc (GTA) narrow gap weld which is representative for PWR primary circuit piping. This mock-up is in the scope of a continuation of the ADIMEW – Assessment of Aged Piping Dissimilar Metal Weld Integrity - project and deals with the improvement of the assessment for DMW and Leak-before-break (LBB) procedures. The fracture test on this mock-up is planed to be performed at 300 °C with an initial through-wall defect. Apart from the LBB demonstration this mock-up is also dedicated for the validation of the applied fracture mechanics approach, extension of material data basis and validation of the weld simulation procedures applied within AREVA.
This paper presents the results of the finite element residual stress analysis related to this STYLE narrow gap weld case study. The two finite element codes ABAQUS and SYSWELD were used to predict the weld residual stresses and the shrinkage in axial direction. The major difference between the here presented methods is that SYSWELD accounts for phase transformation and the method used with ABAQUS does not. The results are compared between each other and with data obtained by deep-hole drilling techniques (DHD) at several locations.