Grade 91 steels are widely used for high temperature pipes in ultra-super-critical thermal power plants. It was recently reported that the creep damage was detected in the fine grain region within the heat affected zone (HAZ) in the welded pipes, so called “Type IV” damage. So far, studies on creep damage and life assessment methods for welded joints of the Grade 91 steel were concentrated on longitudinal welded pipes. Circumferential welded joints are also susceptible to Type IV damage due to the increase of axial thermal stress superimposed with pipe weight. In this study, the effect of additional axial stress to the axial stress produced by the internal pressure on damage and rupture property is discussed based on internal pressure creep tests adding different levels of the axial loads using the Grade 91 circumferential welded tubes. Rupture time of the circumferential welded tube decreases with increasing additional axial load level. Longitudinal cracking in the weld metal was observed in the specimens tested under lower additional load level, and Type IV cracking was observed in the specimens under higher additional load level. The stress analysis results indicate that the longitudinal stress in the HAZ increases with the axial load. Type IV cracking occurs at a certain value of a ratio of the total longitudinal stress to the circumferential stress. Under the test condition where Type IV cracking occurs, the rupture time is significantly shorter than the predicted rupture time based on the creep rupture data of the longitudinal welded tubes. The limited creep strain concept is introduced to predict the rupture time of the circumferential welded tubes by considering the effect of stress multiaxiality. Eventually, the rupture times caused by Type IV cracking of both the longitudinal and the circumferential welded tubes were accurately predicted by the limited creep strain concept.

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