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International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 86 (2009) 637642

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International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijpvp

A creep life assessment method for boiler pipes using small punch creep test
Toru Izaki a, *, Toshimi Kobayashi a,1, Junichi Kusumoto b, 2, Akihiro Kanaya b, 2
a
Technical Department, Kansai Division, Sumitomo Metal Technology, Inc., 1 Higashimukojima-Nishinocho, Amagasaki, Hyogo 660-0856, Japan
b
Research Laboratory, Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc., 2-1-47 Shiobaru, Minami-ku, Fukuoka 815-8520, Japan

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The small punch creep (SPC) test is considered as a highly useful method for creep life assessment for
Received 30 January 2008 high temperature plant components. SPC uses miniature-sized specimens and does not cause any serious
Received in revised form sampling damages, and its assessment accuracy is at a high level. However, in applying the SPC test to the
6 August 2008
residual creep life assessment of the boiler in service, there are some issues to be studied. In order to
Accepted 6 August 2008
apply SPC test to the residual creep life assessment of the 2.25Cr1Mo steel boiler pipe, the relationship
between uniaxial creep stress and the SPC test load has been studied.
Keywords:
The virgin material, pre-crept, weldment and service aged samples of 2.25Cr1Mo steel were tested. It
Creep life assessment
Small punch creep was conrmed that the relationship between uniaxial creep stress and the SPC test load at the same
2.25Cr1Mo rupture time can be described as a single straight line independent of test conditions and materials.
Boiler pipe Therefore a life assessment is possible by using SPC test in place of uniaxial creep tests.
Omega method The creep life assessment using SPC was applied to actual thermal power plant components which are in
service.
2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction SPC test have been performed, the relationship in a wide range of
condition is not claried.
It is difcult to assess accurately the residual creep life of pres- This paper summarizes the study on the application of SPC test
sure boundary components such as boiler piping in operations at to the residual creep life assessment of the 2.25Cr1Mo steel boiler
elevated temperatures. The non-destructive techniques such as the pipe. Then the creep life assessment using SPC was applied to actual
micro structural assessment are usually performed for residual thermal power plant components which are in service.
creep life assessment of plant components. Since these techniques
have limited accuracy, destructive assessment techniques such as
uniaxial creep tests are required to improve the accuracy of the 2. Experimental procedure
assessment. However, such destructive assessment methods
require large samples and weld repairs, which result in very high 2.1. Materials
cost. Therefore the destructive assessment technique prevents its
application to the boiler in service. The materials used and test conditions are shown in Table 1 and
On the other hand, small punch creep (SPC) test, which uses Fig. 1. The virgin material of 2.25Cr1Mo steel used in this study
miniature-sized specimens, does not cause any serious sampling was taken from the virgin boiler pipe (JIS STPA24; equivalent to
damages, and its assessment accuracy is at a high level because it is ASTM A335 Grade P22) with 400 mm outside diameter and 90 mm
a mechanical assessment technique [1,2]. However, in the appli- wall thickness. The pre-crept material was taken from a virgin
cation of SPC test to the residual creep life assessment of the boiler boiler pipe and subjected to creep test up to 50% of the life fraction
in service, it is important to evaluate the relationship between SPC at 70 MPa and 923 K. The samples which simulate the ne grained
load and uniaxial creep stress [1,3,4]. Though several studies on the or coarse grained heat affected zone (HAZ) were also taken from the
virgin boiler pipe and submitted to heat treatment at 1550 K and at
1223 K for coarse and ne grained HAZ, respectively. A serviced
* Corresponding author. Tel.: 81 6 411 7663; fax: 81 6 413 2401. 2.25Cr1Mo pipe which had been used for about 20 years at 820 K
E-mail addresses: izaki-tor@sumitomometals.co.jp (T. Izaki), kobayash-ts2@ was also tested.
sumitomometals.co.jp (T. Kobayashi), junk@lab.kyuden.co.jp (J. Kusumoto),
akihiro_kanaya@kyuden.co.jp (A. Kanaya).
All the samples were machined into the uniaxial creep test
1
Tel.: 81 6 411 7663; fax: 81 6 413 2401. specimens and small punch creep test specimens. A uniaxial creep
2
Tel.: 81 92 541 0729; fax: 81 92 551 1583. test specimen was 6 mm in diameter and the gauge length was

0308-0161/$ see front matter 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ijpvp.2009.04.005
638 T. Izaki et al. / International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 86 (2009) 637642

Table 1 Puncher
The materials and creep test conditions.
Load/L
Specimen SPC test Uniaxial test Ball 2.4
Temp. (K) Load (N) Temp (K) Stress (MPa) (Al2O3)
Virgin base 796998 105766 796998 30180
Pre-crept base
Upper die
Simulated ne HAZ
Simulated coarse HAZ 873923 120530 873923 30180
Service aged base
Deflection,
Service aged weld
Clamp

4.0
50 mm. A small punch creep test specimen was the square of Specimen
10 mm and 0.5 mm in thickness. Lower die
LVDT 10100.5t LVDT

2.2. Uniaxial and small punch creep test Fig. 2. Schematic illustration of SPC apparatus (size in mm).

The conventional uniaxal creep tests and small punch creep


tests were conducted under the conditions which are shown in
Table 1. For virgin base material, uniaxial creep rests and SPC tests a 2.0
were conducted at 796998 K. For materials except virgin base
material, both kinds of tests were conducted at 873 K and 923 K.
The SPC loads were initially chosen to rupture up to 300 h.
Fig. 2 is a schematic illustration of small punch creep test
apparatus. This apparatus consists of an alumina puncher, an 1.5
alumina ball with 2.4 mm in diameter, a specimen holder, a loading
Deflection (mm)

mechanism, gas purging mechanism, and a data acquisition unit.


A constant load was applied to the center of specimen through the
alumina ball using a lever, as shown in Fig. 2. The central deection 1.0
of specimen was monitored by measuring the displacement of
quartz rod using a linear variable differential transducer (LVDT). In
order to prevent severe oxidation of the specimen, the all tests were
carried out in argon gas atmosphere. 720C262N, 2.5hr
0.5 700C262N, 9.4hr
690C262N, 20.5hr
3. Results and discussion
680C262N, 54.2hr
640C262N, 161.3hr
3.1. Deformation in the SPC tests
0.0
0 50 100 150 200
Fig. 3(a) shows the relationship between the central deection
Time t (hr)
d versus time (creep curves), which was obtained from the SPC
tests. The SPC creep curves were similar to those of typical uniaxial
creep tests. b 104
720C262N, 2.5hr
Fig. 3(b) shows the relationship between the logarithm differen- 700C262N, 9.4hr
tial central deection rate d versus deection. According to the de- 103
690C262N, 20.5hr
nition of the creep stages, the secondary creep stage means the period
680C262N, 54.2hr
when the creep speed keeps constant and the tertiary creep stage 102
Deflection rate (mm/hr)

means the period when the creep speed accelerates. Because the 640C262N, 161.3hr
secondary creep stages are not observed, the tertiary creep stages
101
seem to start at about 50% of the rupture life for these samples.

100

10-1

10-2

10-3

10-4
0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0
Deflection (mm)

Fig. 3. (a) Creep curves of the 2.25Cr1Mo steel in SPC tests (base, virgin). (b) Central
Fig. 1. Microstructures and the Vickers hardness of 2.25Cr1Mo steel samples (100). deection rate versus deection of the 2.25Cr1Mo in SPC tests (base, virgin).
T. Izaki et al. / International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 86 (2009) 637642 639

1000

1025

975
SPC 766N

Stress (MPa)
Temperature T (K)

SPC 350N
SPC 262N
925 SPC 175N 100
SPC 105N
Uni 180MPa
Uni 100MPa
875 Base metal
Uni 75MPa
Precrept base metal
Uni 50MPa
Simulated fine HAZ
Uni 30MPa
Simulated coarse HAZ
825 Service aed weld metal
10
15,000 16,000 17,000 18,000 19,000 20,000 21,000 22,000
Larson-Miller Parameter (18.3)
775
10-1 100 101 102 103 104 Fig. 5. Uniaxial creep results of 2.25Cr1Mo.

Rupture time t (hr)

Fig. 4. Rupture time and temperature in SPC and uniaxial creep on 2.25Cr1Mo (base, materials, the simulated coarse HAZ is rather harder and the creep
virgin). elongation becomes lower than the other materials.
Fig. 9 shows the SPC and uniaxial creep results for the pre-
crept base and weld metal from service aged pipe in terms of
Fig. 4 illustrates the relationship between the rupture time and uniaxial stress or converted stress. The SPC loads were converted
test temperature in SPC tests and uniaxial creep tests. These data to the uniaxial creep stresses according to the relation in Fig. 8. As
indicate that linear relationship exists between temperature and shown in Fig. 9, the SPC results showed good correspondence
rupture time of each test conditions, and the line of the SPC tests with uniaxial creep results. For example, the line connecting the
has the same slope as those of the uniaxial creep tests independent uniaxial creep results on pre-crept base metal at 873 K agrees
of test conditions. These results suggest that the creep deformation well with that on SPC results of the same material and
and fracture behavior in the SPC are similar to those of the uniaxial temperature.
creep. Therefore the SPC load can be converted to stress in uniaxial Because the SPC results can be converted to the uniaxial creep
creep test which will give the same rupture time in both test results, it is possible to predict the remaining life by SPC tests. The
methods. reason why the uniaxial creep results and SPC results have a good
correlation is still under study, but according to a study using FEM
3.2. Conversion of the results from SPC data into uniaxial creep data analyses, the stress has been kept almost constant during SPC test
at the critical point where the stress concentrates [5].
Figs. 5 and 6 show the results of the SPC tests and the uniaxial
creep tests in terms of LarsonMiller parameters (C 18.3) versus
load or stress, respectively. As show in Fig. 5, the creep strength of
the samples became weaker in the following order; simulated 1000
coarse HAZ, virgin base, pre-crept base, simulated ne HAZ and
weld metal. The relationship between the stresses and Larson
Miller parameters was found to have similar shape except for
simulated coarse HAZ. In Fig. 6, the small punch creep strength of
the materials showed the same tendency as the uniaxial creep
strength. The relationships between the load and LarsonMiller
parameter were found to be similar for all materials.
Load (N)

Using Figs. 5 and 6, an equivalent uniaxial creep stress for an SPC 100
load can be obtained. For example, the equivalent uniaxial creep
stress for SPC load L1 becomes s1, because they will result in the
same LarsonMiller parameter LMP1. The relationship between the
SPC load and the uniaxial creep stress can be summarized as shown Base metal
in the bottom of Fig. 7. Pre-crept base metal
Fig. 8 shows the relationship between equivalent uniaxial creep Simulated fine HAZ
stress and the SPC test load. As shown in Fig. 8, all the data except Simulated coarse HAZ
simulated coarse HAZ form a single band of a linear relation. This Service aged weld metal
10
result implies that the SPC results can be converted to the uniaxial 15,000 16,000 17,000 18,000 19,000 20,000 21,000 22,000
creep strength by a simple relationship independent of test
Larson-Miller Parameter (18.3)
conditions and materials. The reason that simulated coarse HAZ
shows an extra behavior is ascribed to the hardness of the Fig. 6. SPC results of 2.25Cr1Mo.
640 T. Izaki et al. / International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 86 (2009) 637642

Uniaxial stress / SPC converted stress (MPa)


Load L

L1 SPC 1000 Uniaxial/pre-crept base at 873K


L2 Uniaxial/pre-crept base at 923K
L3 Uniaxial/Service aged weld metal at 873K
Uniaxial/Service aged weld metal at 923K
SPC/pre-crept base at 873K
Uniaxial SPC/pre-crept base at 923K
Stress

1 SPC/Service aged weld metal at 873K


2 SPC/Service aged weld metal at 923K
3

LMP1 LMP2 LMP3


100

3
Stress

10
1.E-01 1.E+00 1.E+01 1.E+02 1.E+03 1.E+04
L1 L2 L3 Time to rupture (hr)

Fig. 7. Calculation of an equivalent uniaxial creep stress s which will give the same Fig. 9. Comparison between the SPC test and the uniaxial data (the SPC load is
rupture time as SPC load L. converted to the corresponding uniaxial data).

3.3. Creep life assessment for lower stress conditions


imaginary initial strain rate at 3 0. U can be expressed as a func-
The Omega method has been proposed for predicting rupture tion of the absolute temperature, T as in the equation (2). In
life from creep strain 3-time t data. It is expected as an assessment the same way, the imaginary strain rate 3_ 0 can be expressed by
method for lower stress conditions [6]. The omega method is equation (3).
explained by the following equation (1).
U AU snU expQU =RT (2)
tr 1=U3_ 0 (1)
where U is a material constant for uniaxial creep tests, and it is 3_ 0 A0 sn0 expQ0 =RT (3)
dened as the slope of the plotted data of creep strain 3_ versus and where AU and A0 are constants for uniaxial creep tests, and they are
the logarithm of strain rate 3_ in the tertiary creep stage, and 3_ 0 is the independent of stress and temperature. nU and n0 are stress
exponents.
Fig. 10 shows the schematic illustration of logarithm deection
300 rate d_ versus deection 3_ in the SPC tests. U is obtained as the slope
Base metal of secondary and tertiary creep stage.
Weld metal Simulated coarse HAZ
Pre-crept base metal
Simulated fine HAZ
Simulated coarse HAZ
Converted stress (MPa)

Service aged base metal


Service aged weld metal
Deflection rate

Except simulated coarse HAZ

0
0 700 Deflection
SPC Load L (N)
Fig. 10. Schematic illustration of logarithm deection rate versus deection of the
Fig. 8. Uniaxial creep stress s that will give the same rupture time as SPC at load L. 2.25Cr1Mo steel in SPC test.
T. Izaki et al. / International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 86 (2009) 637642 641

a 10
s

175N No2-1
No1-1 No1-2
262N
350N

No2-2
1
0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15
T-1/K-1, 103

b 1E03 Fig. 12. Sampling portion from the superheater outlet pipes in the thermal power
plant.
175N
1E05
262N 3.4. Creep life assessment in an actual thermal power plant
Deflection rate (mm/hr)

1E07 350N
Using the technique and results shown above, a life assess-
ment was applied for an actual thermal power plant. Four
1E09 samples were taken from superheater outlet pipes with the newly
developed electric discharge sampling equipment [3,4,7]. Fig. 12
1E11 shows the sampling portions, the samples 11 and 12 were
taken from a vertical outlet pipe and samples 21 and 22 were
taken from a header pipe. SPC tests were conducted at 923 K
1E13
under the loads from 165 N to 300 N and the maximum rupture
time was 151 h.
1E15 Fig. 13 shows the results. The SPC loads were converted to the
uniaxial stresses using the methods for the virgin base metal
1E17 explained before. The data for virgin material were also plotted
0.95 1.00 1.05 1.10 1.15 (SCMV 4NT) [8]. The results show that the creep strength of the
T-1/K-1, 103 service exposed components was decreased compared with the
virgin material. To obtain the residual life, a master curve was made
Fig. 11. (a) Semi-logarithmic plot of Us versus 1/T in SPC tests. (b) Semi-logarithmic
using the SPC results as shown in Fig. 13, and the LMP at the stress
plot of d0 versus 1/T in SPC tests.
under operation was calculated. The residual creep lives were
calculated using the LMP and the operating temperature. The

In SPC tests, deection d can be translated to 3, and deection


rate d_ to 3_ . The relationship between these constants can explained
as equations (4)(6) using Us instead of U. 1000
Uniaxial Creep (NIMS Data)
tr 1=Us d_ 0 (4) SPC No.1
SPC No.2


Us AUs snUs exp QUs =RT (5)
Stress (MPa)

100
d_ 0 A0s sn0s expQ0s =RT (6)

Fig. 11(a) and (b) show the semi-logarithmic plot of Us versus


1/T and the semi-logarithmic plot of d_ 0 versus 1/T in the SPC
tests, respectively. Us and d_ 0 can be approximated by single
lines but some scattering exist in both gures. The scattering
may be ascribed mainly to the measurement of the deections
in the SPC tests because they are smaller than those in the 10
14000 16000 18000 20000 22000
uniaxial creep test. In order to apply the SPC test to the omega
LMP = (T+273)(log t+18.3)
method, more precise measurement of the deection may be
required. Fig. 13. SPC test results of superheater outlet header pipes in the actual power plant.
642 T. Izaki et al. / International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping 86 (2009) 637642

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