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Ni Nickel Welding Req for Nuclear

Ni Nickel Welding Req for Nuclear

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Published by: ajayghosh3140 on Apr 02, 2011
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F o c u s o n N u c l e a r P o w e r G e n e r a t i o n 2 0 0 5
Weldments in vessels and components for nuclear power generation must be of especially highquality due to the complexity and criticality of this demanding service. INCONEL alloys 600 and690 have been widely used in nuclear construction, especially in the steam generation systemsof reactors. A team of specialists from Special Metals Corporation discusses the application of this material in nuclear service.
Nickel alloy welding requirementsfor nuclear service
By Samuel D. Kiser, P.E. and Evan B. Hinshaw, P.E., Special MetalsWelding Products Company, Newton, NC, USA and James R. Crum andLewis E. Shoemaker, Huntington Alloys/Special Metals Corporation,Huntington, WV, USA
Steam generator tubes and through-wall nozzles and hardware and therequired weld joints in nuclear powerplants must exhibit strength, integrityand corrosion resistance. Since thesewelds are required for containment of potentially radioactive material, theymust be made using speciallydesigned welding products that aredeposited with precision using care-fully designed procedures.INCONEL alloy 600 (UNS N06600)steam generator tubes and hardwarewere used in nuclear reactors for elec-tric power generation beginning inthe 1950’s. Alloy 600 provided greatlyimproved resistance to stress corro-sion cracking over grade 304 stain-less steel. Unfortunately, the weldingproducts available for joining alloy600 at that time were not capable of producing weldments with thedesired integrity for nuclear service.Research into hot cracking in nickel-chromium-iron alloys started as earlyas 1946.
Early work conducted at theResearch Laboratory of theInternational Nickel Company, Inc. inevaluated the hot cracking resistanceof these products and comparedthem with those used to join alloy600.
These two EWI solidificationcracking studies showed Filler Metal52 to be more hot-cracking resistantthan Filler Metal 82 and WeldingElectrode 152 was more resistant thanWelding Electrode 182. The next gen-eration of nuclear welding products iscomprised of INCONEL 52M and WE152M. Like 52 and 152 these productsare designed with 30% Cr with addi-tion of B + Zr to provide resistance toductility dip cracking. Furthermore,welds made with INCONEL FillerMetal 52M have been shown to exhib-it a crack growth rate of less than1/20 the rate of welds made withWelding Electrode 182 when tested insimulated primary water. (6.5 to 1.0ppm Li, 1500 to 250 ppm B, andapproximately 35 cm3 (STP)H2/kgH2O and stress intensitiesbetween 26 and 43 MPa
Table 1lists some of the current nickel basedwelding consumables used fornuclear service.Bayonne, NJ, USA resulted in thedevelopment of welding products thatbecame INCONEL Welding Electrode182 (AWS A5.11 ENiCrFe-3) andINCONEL Filler Metal 82 (AWS A5.14ERNiCr-3). These were the first NiCrFe-type welding products capable of depositing crack-free, porosity-freeweldments in alloy 600.
Further workat Huntingon Alloys evaluated thecracking resistance of these productsusing Varestraint testing methods.
While alloy 600 provided greatlyimproved service over 304 stainlesssteel it still was subject to stresscracking after long exposure to highpurity reactor steam and primarywater. As a result, INCONEL alloy690 (UNS N06690) has essentiallyreplaced alloy 600 for components of the nuclear steam generator.
The ini-tial welding products used for joiningalloy 690 were INCONEL WeldingElectrode 152 (AWS A5.11ENiCrFe-7) and INCONEL Filler Metal52 (AWS A5.14 ERNiCrFe-7). B.B.Hood of Westinghouse and W. Lin of the Edison Welding Institute (EWI)
F o c u s o n N u c l e a r P o w e r G e n e r a t i o n 2 0 0 5
Ductility dip cracking
In the mid-1990’s, a naval researchteam discovered an unusual solid-state cracking phenomenonduring a fabrication procedure using a30% chromium welding wire. Thecracking seemed to occur as solidifica-tion cracking, but after careful exami-nation, it was found not to be associ-ated with liquation or liquid phase.These cracks were characterized byclusters of fine re-crystallized grainsthat sometimes occurred at the cracktips. This solid state cracking came tobe known as “cold cracking” as well as“reheat cracking”, since it was notrelated to solidification cracking or hotcracking. Actually, a misnomer, “cold”cracking occurs in the range of 1400°F(760°C) – 1900°F (1038°C) in thosealloys that are susceptible. Later workby Cola and Teter quantitativelydemonstrated a pronounced ductilitydip in the temperature range of 800°Cto 1000°C and has more recently beenresearched by Ohio State Universty.
Today this cracking phenomenon ismore accurately described as ductility-dip-cracking (DDC).
Research into ductility dip cracking
A research program was undertakento study DDC and develop improvedwelding products for alloy 690.Various compositions were evaluatedresulting in several interesting find-ings.
The effects of oxygen, carbon and sul-fur were investigated to determinetheir effect on the degradation of grain boundary ductility. To countertheir effects, the addition of elementsknown to positively influence grainboundary strength, de-oxidation, andde-sulfurization was investigated.The formation and influence of oxideand nitride “floaters” was also stud-ied due to concerns that they couldinduce lack of fusion and/or porosityor become entrapped as inclusions.(See figure 1)An account of the research programconducted at Special Metals WeldingProducts Company, which resulted inthe development of improved consum-ables for welding alloy 690 follows.
DDC research program results
A review of the open literature and
Ni C Mn Fe S Cu Si Cr Ti Nb P Mo Al Other
INCONEL 72 min. 0.15 10. 6.0- 0.015 0.50 0.50 14.0- - - - - - -Alloy 600 max. 10.0 max. max. max. max. 17.0INCONELFM 82 67 min 0.10 2.5- 3.0 0.015 0.50 0.50 18.0- 0.75 2.0 0.030 - - 0.50max. 3.5 max. max. max. max. 22.0 max. 3.0 max. max.INCONELWE 182 59.0 min. 0.10 5.0- 10.0 0.015 0.50 1.0 13.0- 1.0 1.0- 0.030 - - 0.50max. 9.5 max. max. max. max. 17.0 max. 2.5 max. max.INCONELAlloy 690 58.0 min. 0.05 0.50 7-11 0.015 0.50 0.50 27- - - - - - -max. max. max. max. max. 31INCONELFM 52 Balance 0.04 1.0 7.0- 0.015 0.30 0.50 28.0- 1.0 0.10 0.02 0.50 1.10 0.50max. max. max. 11.0 max. max. max. 31.5 max. max. max. max. max. max.INCONELWE 152 Balance 0.05 5.0 7.0- 0.015 0.50 0.75 28.0- 0.50 1.0- 0.03 0.50 0.50 0.50max. max. 12.0 max. max. max. 31.5 max. 2.5 max. max. max. max.INCONELFM 52M* Balance 0.04 1.0 7.0- 0.015 0.30 0.50 28.0- 1.0 0.50- 0.02 0.50 1.10 0.50max. max. 11.0 max. max. max. 31.5 max. 1.0 max. max. max. max.INCONELWE 152M* Balance 0.05 5.0 7- 0.015 0.50 0.75 28.0- 0.50 1.0- 0.030 0.50 0.50 0.50max. max. 12.0 max. max. max. 31.5 max. 2.5 max. max. max. max.* Minor additions of boron and zirconiumTable 1: Nickel based alloys & welding consumables for nuclear applicationsFigure 1: Oxide ‘floaters’ on the surface of an INCONEL Filler Metal 52 gas tungsten arcweld deposit
F o c u s o n N u c l e a r P o w e r G e n e r a t i o n 2 0 0 5
review of DDC encountered in inter-nal studies resulted in a proposedcracking mechanism. It was deter-mined that some cell boundaries orgrain boundaries exhibited less high-temperature ductility than thecell/grain interiors. When susceptiblealloys were exposed to strain at ele-vated temperature (as occurs in anyhighly restrained, multi-pass weld-ment), the ductility limit of thegrain/cell boundary can be exceededand a crack may develop. The crackmay be arrested as the stress isreduced at the crack opening and theenergy released may be absorbed dur-ing re-crystallization at the crack tip.Several research programs con-tributed to improved understandingof grain boundary mechanics.
Theproducts that resulted from this studywere INCONEL Welding Electrode152M (AWS A5.11 ENiCrFe-7),INCONEL Filler Metal 52M bare wireand weldstrip consumables (AWSA5.14 ERNiCrFe-7A) by Special MetalsWelding Products Company.
All of these consumables are capable of producing welds that are resistant tohot cracking, DDC, and oxide build-ups and are included in table 1.
Newly developed welding consum-able product variants for surfacingthe nuclear industry
The most recently developed prod-ucts to complete the family of nuclearwelding consumables are INCOFLUXESS
andINCONEL weldstrip 52M. These prod-ucts are designed for quick and effi-cient weld overlay of tubesheets andvessel components which requireresistance to PWSCC. Work was per-formed by Special Metals (formerlyInco Alloys Int’l) in the early 1990’sfor development of a flux and welddeposit that provided all of the bene-fits described in the recently devel-oped ‘M’ type consumable for weld-ing alloy 690. The result of this workwas presented at an EPRI / INCOsponsored Symposium for NuclearDesigners and Fabricators.
The workshowed that INCONEL alloy 690strip in conjunction with neutral andactive fluxes resulted in weld depositsthat nominally passed the qualitytests at that time.Subsequent work performed atSpecial Metals has shown that thedeposits made using alloy 690 stripwith neutral or active fluxes sufferedfrom DDC type cracking. It was notuntil INCONEL Weldstrip 52M wasused, that a consistent weld depositwas achieved that was resistant tohot-cracking, root-cracking and DDC.The INCOFLUX ESS
surfacing fluxes in conjunctionwith INCONEL 52M weldstrip (AWSA5.14 EQNiCrFe-7A chemistry) resultsin weld deposits that meet the com-positional limits of the INCONELWelding Electrode 152M (AWS A5.11ENiCrFe-7 deposit chemistry). See fig-ure 2 and table 2.
Case history nuclear repairs withINCONEL Filler Metal 52M
Extensive parameter developmentresearch has enabled installation of NDE-acceptable structural overlays;however, the susceptibility of ERNiCrFe-7 to rejectable UT indica-tions has driven industry toINCONEL Filler Metal 52M. One fac-tor of particular interest is the poten-tial that INCONEL Filler Metal52M allows installation of struc-
CHEMICAL COMPOSITIONSINCONEL® weldstrip 52M - heat number NX4721TK
Element Strip Layer 1 Layer 2 Layer 3
0.015 0.028 0.024 0.022
0.69 1.25 1.27 1.22
8.14 11.7 8.55 8.31
0.001 0.002 0.002 0.002
0.13 0.23 0.23 0.2
0.02 0.01 <0.01 <0.01
Bal. Bal. Bal. Bal.
29.47 28.4 29.4 29.8
0.11 <.001 <.001 <.001
0.21 0.02 0.02 0.02
0.8 1.22 1.32 1.19
0.001 <.001 <.001 <.001
<0.01 - - -
0.004 0.007 0.006 0.007Figure 2: Electro slag strip claddeposit cross sections withINCONEL 52M weldstrip (0.5mm x60mm) and INCOFLUX ESS2Table 2: INCONEL Weldstrip 52M and INCOFLUX ESS
weld deposit chemistry by layer
Figure 3: Third layer of structuralweld overlay

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