Creep and Creep-Fatigue Crack Growth at Structural Discontinuities and Welds

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The subsection ASME NH high temperature design procedure does not admit crack-like defects into the structural components. The US NRC identified the lack of treatment of crack growth within NH as a limitation of the code and thus this effort was undertaken. This effort is broken into two parts. Part 1, summarized here, involved examining all high temperature creep-fatigue crack growth codes being used today and from these, the task objective was to choose a methodology that is appropriate for possible implementation within NH. The second part of this task, which has just started, is to develop design rules for ... continued below

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Brust, Dr. F. W.; Wilkowski, Dr. G. M.; Krishnaswamy, Dr. P. & Wichman, Mr. Keith January 27, 2010.

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The subsection ASME NH high temperature design procedure does not admit crack-like defects into the structural components. The US NRC identified the lack of treatment of crack growth within NH as a limitation of the code and thus this effort was undertaken. This effort is broken into two parts. Part 1, summarized here, involved examining all high temperature creep-fatigue crack growth codes being used today and from these, the task objective was to choose a methodology that is appropriate for possible implementation within NH. The second part of this task, which has just started, is to develop design rules for possible implementation within NH. This second part is a challenge since all codes require step-by-step analysis procedures to be undertaken in order to assess the crack growth and life of the component. Simple rules for design do not exist in any code at present. The codes examined in this effort included R5, RCC-MR (A16), BS 7910, API 579, and ATK (and some lesser known codes). There are several reasons that the capability for assessing cracks in high temperature nuclear components is desirable. These include: (1) Some components that are part of GEN IV reactors may have geometries that have sharp corners - which are essentially cracks. Design of these components within the traditional ASME NH procedure is quite challenging. It is natural to ensure adequate life design by modeling these features as cracks within a creep-fatigue crack growth procedure. (2) Workmanship flaws in welds sometimes occur and are accepted in some ASME code sections. It can be convenient to consider these as flaws when making a design life assessment. (3) Non-destructive Evaluation (NDE) and inspection methods after fabrication are limited in the size of the crack or flaw that can be detected. It is often convenient to perform a life assessment using a flaw of a size that represents the maximum size that can elude detection. (4) Flaws that are observed using in-service detection methods often need to be addressed as plants age. Shutdown inspection intervals can only be designed using creep and creep-fatigue crack growth techniques. (5) The use of crack growth procedures can aid in examining the seriousness of creep damage in structural components. How cracks grow can be used to assess margins on components and lead to further safe operation. After examining the pros and cons of all these methods, the R5 code was chosen as the most up-to-date and validated high temperature creep and creep fatigue code currently used in the world at present. R5 is considered the leader because the code: (1) has well established and validated rules, (2) has a team of experts continually improving and updating it, (3) has software that can be used by designers, (4) extensive validation in many parts with available data from BE resources as well as input from Imperial college's database, and (5) was specifically developed for use in nuclear plants. R5 was specifically developed for use in gas cooled nuclear reactors which operate in the UK and much of the experience is based on materials and temperatures which are experienced in these reactors. If the next generation advanced reactors to be built in the US used these same materials within the same temperature ranges as these reactors, then R5 may be appropriate for consideration of direct implementation within ASME code NH or Section XI. However, until more verification and validation of these creep/fatigue crack growth rules for the specific materials and temperatures to be used in the GEN IV reactors is complete, ASME should consider delaying this implementation. With this in mind, it is this authors opinion that R5 methods are the best available for code use today. The focus of this work was to examine the literature for creep and creep-fatigue crack growth procedures that are well established in codes in other countries and choose a procedure to consider implementation into ASME NH. It is very important to recognize that all creep and creep fatigue crack growth procedures that are part of high temperature design codes are related and very similar. This effort made no attempt to develop a new creep-fatigue crack growth predictive methodology. Rather examination of current procedures was the only goal. The uncertainties in the R5 crack growth methods and recommendations for more work are summarized here also.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ID14712-8
  • Grant Number: FC07-05ID14712
  • DOI: 10.2172/974286 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 974286
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc929030

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  • January 27, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, noon

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Brust, Dr. F. W.; Wilkowski, Dr. G. M.; Krishnaswamy, Dr. P. & Wichman, Mr. Keith. Creep and Creep-Fatigue Crack Growth at Structural Discontinuities and Welds, report, January 27, 2010; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc929030/: accessed September 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.