Abstract

Previous study carried out residual stress characterization for the welds of the high-temperature-section (superheater / reheater) lower headers of the bottom-supported heat-recovery steam generator (HRSG). Modeling the gas-tungsten arc, manual welding process considered only weld-lay for the ASTM A 335-Grade P22 finned-tube angle joint to the cylinder. Present study aims at indirectly assessing findings of previous analysis measuring maximum residual stress on the joint’s exservice material. To achieve that a tee similar to the previous was not available: for both experimental and numerical analyses present study considers a P22 circumferential “V”-groove butt joint on HRSG pipeline section, creep-operated for the same period and temperature as the previous case. In the experimental activity X-ray diffraction method (or alternatively, hole-drilling strain gage one) applies as close as possible to the weld, being residual stress maximum at the fusion boundary. Thermal analysis for the previous case also showed it keeps nearly constant during weld cooling, relaxing most during creep: after 200,000 hours of operation, welding-process simulation predicted a maximum residual stress of 70 MPa; tee-joint creep-analysis found out a maximum equivalent stress of 91 MPa. As for the sample withdrawal, dimensions should be sufficient to avoid any interference with measurement area. The experimental procedures should comply with the European standard EN 15305 on the matter (the American standard ASTM E 837 for the alternate method). Comparison of analysis results for the two cases, confirms tendencies previously found out in creep-behavior, though different equivalent stress contributions. Comparison of predicted and observed residual stress values should allow for validation of numerical models used in both welding process and stress analysis.

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