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For these demands, most turbine manufacturers have

developed and applied an ESR (Electro Slag Remelting) process to produce 9~12% Cr heat resistance
steels.
ESR is an important re-melting process, which has
been successfully used in various applications for
more than fifty years. The ESR process has been used
such wide applications due to its flexibility with slag
compositions, melting current, etc.
The advantages of the ESR process for cleanliness
and homogeneity of the ingot structure are well known.
However, the technologies to overcome critical
problems of ESR process often have been concealed.
Among the problems, it is especially important to
control the easily oxidative elements such as titanium,
aluminum and silicon during the re-melting practice.

MANUFACTURING OF ADVANCED 9~12%


Cr ROTOR FORGINGS FOR USC POWER
PLANT
Sung Tae Kang, Dong Soo Kim, Min Soo Kim and
Jeong Tae Kim
R&D Institute,
DOOSAN HEAVY INDUSTIES CO. KOREA
SUMMARY
Electro Slag Remelting (ESR) process is required to
improve the homogeneity of mechanical and
metallurgical properties of 9~12%Cr steel rotor
forgings. DOOSAN has studied and improved the
ESR, forging and overlay welding process from 20ton
scale prototype melts.
This paper deals with the experiences in
manufacturing of the tungsten added 9~12%Cr steel
for high and/or intermediate pressure rotor forgings.
Advanced 9~12%Cr rotor forgings were successfully
manufactured from 70 ton ESR ingot. The ingots were
forged, heat treated and machined to make full scale
rotor.
As the results of evaluation of the trial rotor forging,
homogeneous chemistry distribution and uniform
mechanical properties from top to bottom and from
surface to center portion were obtained. The creep
strength and FATT were better than those of
conventional 12%Cr steel.

For the 9~12% Cr steel used as power plant materials,


it is very important to control the content of such
elements as Al, Si, Nb, Cr and Mn in homogeneous
and optimum range during ESR. The exchange
reaction of the solutes between slag and molten metal
occurs due to their thermodynamic equilibrium. In
particular, SiO2 in slag is very important because it
determines the oxidation degree of slag and the
oxygen content in molten metal[2].
COST E and COST FB2 were manufactured by
Doosan Heavy Industries and studies on optimum
ranges of chemical composition, forging processes,
heat treatment conditions were performed to secure
the reliable mechanical properties and to determine
the minimum detectable ultrasonic defect size[3-4].
This paper describes the development and
manufacture of 9~12%Cr steels for above 600oC class
steam turbine rotors and verified a trial rotor forging.

1. INTRODUCTION
Improvement of plant thermal efficiency can be
achieved by raising inlet steam temperature and
pressure. The design of USC steam turbines operating
up to 621oC depends on the use of 9 to 12%Cr ferritic
heat resistant steels and the effective cooling steam
arrangements. In order to increase steam inlet
temperature to above 593oC from 566oC, which
corresponds to the upper boundary for the use of
conventional 9 to 12% Cr steels, the critical
components of HP and IP should be changed to new
ferritic steels with higher creep strength than
conventional steels[1]. The important properties of
rotor design and operation are those relating with the
structural integrity of the rotor operating under stress
conditions and temperature for the life of the machine.
Rotors must have a high resistance to crack initiation
and propagation under low and high cycle loading.
Rotors also require high creep resistance under long
time exposure to high steady state stresses at
elevated temperatures as well as brittle fracture
toughness at low nominal temperatures.

2. 20 TON ESR INGOT PRODUCTION


2.1 Electro Slag Remelting Technology
To manufacture a 20 ton 10%Cr-Nb-W ESR ingot, the
ESR electrode was manufactured in a 30ton Electric
Arc Furnace (EAF) and ladle refining furnace. Selected
raw materials were melted in the EAF to a low
phosphorous content heat and the molten steel was
tapped without Si and Al alloy addition. Before
reduction refining in the ladle furnace, de-slagging of
the EAF slag was perfectly carried out to minimize an
increase of P content and then replaced with a
synthetic basic slag. After vacuum degassing, fine
correction of the melt chemistry and temperature were
successfully performed. Ingot making was carried out
by the bottom pouring method under an argon
atmosphere.
Detailed ESR conditions are listed in Table 1. ESR
was carried out under an argon gas atmosphere in
order to prevent the loss of the oxygen-affinity
elements in the electrode and the hydrogen absorption
from the air. ESR slag composition with SiO2 was
selected based on the Pilot ESR experiment to obtain
the optimum Si, Nb content and a low Al content. The
melting rate was kept low and stable as much as
possible. Table 2 shows the electrode chemical

The HP and IP rotor steels basically require high creep


strength due to the high steam temperatures and the
desire to minimize the use of dovetail cooling steam in
HP and/or IP sections.

composition target for the 20 tons 10%Cr-Nb-W steel


ESR ingot.
The samples were taken from the axial surface, middle
and center of the product to check the behaviour of
main elements such as C, Si, Mn, Cr, W, Al and Nb
content. Slag for chemical analysis was taken at the
start of re-melting and the end of hot topping to predict
the chemical compositions of the product.

Analysis results of oxides in the slag and the


behaviour of major elements in the ingot are shown in
Table 3 and Figure 3 respectively. As shown in the
Table 3, during ESR, SiO2 content increased slightly
from 5.6% to 8.2% and FetO content (a measure of
oxidation degree of the slag) was less than 0.15%.
Because FetO content of less than 0.2% guarantees
an excellent degree of cleanliness[5], it can be
suggested that the cleanliness of ingot is satisfied.

Table 1. Re-melting conditions of 20 ton 10%Cr-Nb-W


steel ingot.
Classification
s
Electrode
Slag

ESR melting

Table 3. The change of chemical composition of ESR


slag.

Detailed Conditions
Size/Weight

800mm D, 20 tons

System

CaF2-CaO-Al2O3SiO2

Cap height
Starting
method
Voltage swing
Electrode
surface
Atmosphere

4~5V

Fill ratio

0.7~0.8

Process
Before ESR
After ESR

Hot start

Shot blast
Argon gas

Table 2. Electrode chemical composition target for


10%Cr-Nb-W steel (wt %).
C

Si

Mn

0.10
0.15

0.05
0.10

0.40
0.60

0.010

Al

Nb

Co

Cr

10.00

0.15

10.60

0.25

0.040
0.015

0.070

0.05

Ni

0.005

0.60
0.80

0.95

0.040

1.10

0.070

FetO
0.03
0.13

MnO
0.03
0.15

Cr2O3
0.05
0.17

Figure 2 shows that Si, Nb, Mn and Cr content in the


ingot bottom section are somewhat less than that in
the other sections. A possible reason for the loss of Si,
Nb, Mn and Cr content in the ingot bottom section and
the increase of SiO2, MnO and FetO in slag is that the
inert atmosphere was not controlled perfectly at the
initial melting stage. When the oxygen content in the
mold is a little high, the oxygen react with the Si of the
electrode and SiO2 is formed in the molten metal and
then absorbed into the slag. Therefore, Si content in
ingot decreased and SiO2 activity in slag increased.
Finally, with the increase of SiO2 activity in slag, Nb,
Mn and Cr content decreased. This result is related to
the effect of SiO2 activity on the content of solute
elements. With the exception of oxidation loss of
solute elements in the ingot bottom section, it can be
seen that the content of major elements in the ingot is
uniform and nearly similar to the content of elements in
the electrode. Therefore, slag composition was nearly
close to the equilibrium composition with that of the
electrode and very suitable for obtaining the optimum
Si, Nb, Mn, Cr content and a low Al content.

200~220mm

Min.
Max.

SiO2
5.6
8.2

2.2 Forging Technology

The ESR operation with the conditions in Table 1 was


quite stable and conducted with no trouble. Slag
samples were taken from the molten slag pool just
before slag pouring into the mold and at the hottopping stage. The surface of ingot was smooth and
slag skin was thin. The ingot was forged and heat
treated. As shown in Figure 1, metal samples for
analysis of chemical composition and macrostructure
were taken from the test block. The specimens of 20
ton ESR ingot were taken from axial surface, middle
and center portions for chemical composition analysis

Forging parameters such as temperature, soaking time


and deformation rate were important to ensure the
prevention of forging defect and the suitable
microstructure. To optimize the forging sequence and
to improve the reproducibility of the forging process,
the forging process was designed using FEM modeling.
Figure 3 shows the simulation result of upsetting
process.
2.3 Overlay Welding Technology
The rotor journal surface containing 9 to 12%Cr can
gall, resulting in bearing failure, because of very poor
journal running characteristics caused by its high Cr
content under abnormal running conditions[6].
Therefore, a low alloy weld overlay should be applied
to the journal and thrust runner surfaces to resolve the
galling issue. The overlay welding by SAW is
considered to be excellent compared with other
methods due to high reliability. The fundamental
studies were conducted for mock up journals. The

Ingot top side

Figure 1. Test block of 20 ton ESR ingot.

newly developed GTAW and SAW process was


applied to a production of 12%Cr rotor forging. Figure
4 shows the microstructure around welded portion
after overlay welding. The microstructure was bainitic
structure and no delta ferritic structure from HAZ to
base metal. And also there was no crack and defect
found around welded portion by ultrasonic test.
The hardness changes of welded area for test block
are shown in Figure 5. The hardness of welded
deposit is Hv 210 to 270 and maximum hardness in
HAZ is Hv 310 to 340. The UT test results of welded
area were good. The maximum size of UT indication is
less than 0.9 mm diameter and stable welding
operation has been carried out.

0.08

[Si] in Electrode
0.06

0.04

0.02

0.00
0

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

3500

0.60

0.10

0.55

0.08

[Mn] in Electrode
0.50

0.45

0.40

0.04

0.02

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

3500

Height from bottom end of ingot(mm)


1.3

0.010

11.0

1.2

0.008

10.5

[Cr] in Electrode

10.0

9.5

[W] in Electrode

1.1

1.0

0.9

9.0
0

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

3500

Height from bottom end of ingot(mm)

0.8
0

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

3500

Height from bottom end of ingot(mm)

11.5

W content(wt%)

Cr content(wt%)

[Nb] in Electrode

0.06

0.00

0.35

Height from bottom end of ingot(mm)

Al content(wt%)

Si content(wt%)

0.10

Mn content(wt%)

Surface
Middle
Center

Nb content(wt%)

0.12

In order to confirm the long term stabilization of


microstructure, aging investigation has been made to
check the change in toughness and in tensile
properties at room temperature after exposure 600,
650oC up to 5,000 and 10,000 hours. Further
specimens will be checked after 20,000 hours
exposure. Electrical furnaces with air circulation were
used for specimen exposure. The result after exposure
for 5,000 and 10,000 hours at 600 and 650oC are
summarized in Figure 6. Figure 7 showed the
substructure after aging for 5,000 hours at 600 and
650oC by TEM.

0.006

[Al] in Electrode
0.004

0.002

0.000

3500

Height from bottom end of ingot(mm)

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

3500

Height from bottom end of ingot(mm)

Figure 2. Analysis results of chemical compositions with axial surface, middle and center of
the 20 ton ESR ingot.

Weld

HAZ

1700 mm

Coarse grained
zone
Fusion boundary

HAZ

Base metal

Fine grained
zone

Figure 4. Microstructure around welded portion of


overlay welding.

Figure 3. Forging process simulation.


2.4 Aging

HAZ

These substructures reveal the different with subgrain


and laths. For 5,000 hours at 600oC, the typical
tempered martensitic lath was observed. However the
subgrain was observed after 5,000 hours at 650oC.

360
Base

HAZ

Weld

Hardness[Hv_10kg]

340
320
300
280

Figure 7. TEM micrographs after aging for 5,000


hours.

260
240

PWHT-A
PWHT-B
PWHT-C

220

3. Full Size Rotor Forging Production


3.1 Manufacturing Process

200

Position on overlay weld

--

Based on the 20 ton ESR results, a trial HP/IP rotor


was manufactured and subjected to verification
testing. The manufacturing processes are shown in
Figure 8. These steels were refined by electro slag
remelting (ESR) process to ensure a uniform chemical
composition. The 70 ton ESR electrode was
manufactured in a 100 ton EAF and ladle refining
furnace. The ESR ingot of diameter 1700mm was
manufactured from an electrode of 1200mm diameter
after steel refining by EAF. The chemical compositions
are shown in Table 4.
Due to the homogeneous structure and pipe free
solidification of the ESR ingot, the upset ingot was
then forged to an intermediate size, followed by
cogging. After preliminary heat treatment, the quality
heat treatment, quenching and double tempering was
conducted. The maximum rotor diameter was about
1,100 mm at the quality heat treatment. And then, the
overlay welding was performed. By the ESR process,
an ingot with 1,700 mm diameter and 70 ton weight
was made as seen in Figure 9.

Figure 5. Hardness changes of welded area.

900
800

YS / TS (MPa)

700
600
500

COST-E Material(20 ton)


0.2% YS
TS
o
600 C
o
650 C

400
300
200
100
0
0

5000

10000

Aging Time (hrs)

100

Melting
COST E Material(20ton)
FATT
o
600 C
o
650 C

100 ton EAF

60

Ingot Making

Q.H.T.

ESR

Machining

FATT50 ( C)

80

Machining

40
20

70 ton Ingot

0
0

5000

Forging

Overlay

P.H.T.

Stress Reliving

10000

Aging Time (hrs)

Figure 6. Aging effect on the tensile and


FATT properties.

Figure 8 Manufacturing process of full size rotor


forging.
4

properties at surface and center of the rotor forgings.


The results have sufficient margin in comparison with
target values. The difference in tensile strength
between the surface and the center was small, and
excellent toughness was also obtained.

Table 4. 70 ton ESR ingot chemical compositions for


10%Cr-Nb-W steel (wt %).
C

Si

Mn

Ni

Heat

0.13

0.10

0.53

0.005

0.002

0.72

Cr

Al

Nb

Co

10.35

0.25

0.007

0.057

1.00

0.055

Table 6. Mechanical properties of the trial rotor forging


at the representative portion.
Loca.
S1
C1
S2
C2
S3
C3
S4
C4
T
G

0.2YS
(MPa)
745
752
745
738
758
745
724
724
724
724

TS
(MPa)
862
883
876
862
876
876
848
855
841
841

EL
%
23
22
22
22
22
22
21
24
22
22

RA
%
63
65
65
65
62
63
63
65
63
63

Impact
J
60
61
54
62
53
58
52
76
100

FATT
C
37
28
32
34
37
31
30
18
13

Figure 10 shows the microstructure of representative


locations of a trial forging. A fully martensitic structure
without delta ferrite was observed and average grain
size was measured as ASTM # 2.5 to 3.5, indicating
that the microstructure is homogeneous.

Figure 9. Appearance of 70 ton ESR ingot.

3.2 Test Results of a Trial Rotor Forging


Table 5 shows results of production analysis at various
specimen locations. The chemical compositions are
very homogeneous from surface to center.
S1

C1

S2

S3

C2

S4

C3

C4

S2

C2

Table 5. Chemical composition of the trial rotor forging


at the representative portion (wt %).
Loca.
S1
C1
S2
C2
S3
C3
S4
C4
T
G

Si

Mn

Ni

Cr

Mo

Nb

*N2

0.13
0.14
0.13
0.14
0.13
0.14
0.13
0.14
0.14
0.14

0.09
0.07
0.06
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.06
0.05
0.06

0.54
0.53
0.54
0.55
0.54
0.55
0.53
0.54
0.52
0.53

0.72
0.72
0.71
0.73
0.71
0.73
0.72
0.73
0.71
0.73

10.34
10.37
10.33
10.36
10.28
10.38
10.35
10.39
10.46
10.36

1.09
1.07
1.08
1.09
1.07
1.10
1.08
1.09
1.07
1.09

0.24
0.22
0.25
0.25
0.24
0.25
0.25
0.25
0.21
0.25

0.054
0.058
0.062
0.062
0.058
0.062
0.061
0.064
0.058
0.056

0.95
0.96
0.95
0.95
0.95
0.95
0.95
0.95
0.97
0.95

482
493
540
478
487
490
527
497
513
510

Figure 10. Optical microstructure of a trial rotor


forging.
Transformation of the full ferrite phase provided a
good condition for ultrasonic test. After the heat
treatment, ultrasonic test was performed and no
indication was found. Figure 11 shows the appearance
of a trial rotor forging.

* ppm

In addition, creep rupture tests at 593~649oC were


performed to meet the requirement including 20 ton
and 70 ton ESR ingots. 105 hours Creep rupture
strength at 600oC was higher than 100 MPa as shown
in Figure 12. Further long term tests are under way.

The mechanical properties were tested at various


locations. Specimens were taken in the radial direction
at the surface of rotor and also in the transverse
direction at the center. The results of tensile strength
and toughness properties are summarised in Table 6.
Table 6 shows the tensile and Charpy V-notch impact
5

References

1. K.Kaneko, SA.Matsumura, A.Sadakata, K. Fugita,


W.-J.Moon, S.Ozaki, N.Nishimura and Y.Tomokiyo,
Mat. Sci. Eng. A 374, 82 (2004)
2. Atsushi Sekiya, Suguru Nakayama and Takaaki
Taketsuru, DENKI-SEIKO, 66, 47-53(1995)
3. S. T. Kang, D. S. Kim, K. C. Kim, M. S. Kim, S.
H.Ryu and J. T. Kim, Proc. of 1st International
SHSS Conference, Italy(2005)
4. S. T. Kang, D. S. Kim, K. C. Kim, M. S. Kim and J.
T. Kim, Proc. 16th, Int. Forgemasters Meeting,
Sheffield(2006)
5. G.K.Sigworth and J.F.Elliott, Met.Sci., 8, 298310(1974)
6. K. M. Retzlaff and W. A. Ruegger, Steam turbines
for ultrasupercritical power plants, GE Power
Systems Report No. GER-3945A, ( 1996).

Figure 11. Appearance of the trial rotor forging (70 ton


ESR ingot).

400
DOOSAN COST-E

Creep Rupture Strenth (MPa)

300
Forging(E+F)

200

100
90

DOOSAN COST-E
COST 501 Rotor E
Forging(E+F)

80
70
23

24

25

26

27

-3

LMP=T(C+logt)x10

Figure 12. Creep rupture strength of a trial rotor.

4. CONCLUSIONS
Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., Ltd. has
manufactured the 20 ton ESR ingot to confirm the
optimal manufacturing processes such as ESR,
forging and overlay welding. Accordingly, a full size
trial rotor forgings were successfully produced using
70 ton ESR ingot. The results are summarized as
follows.
1) With the optimized ESR conditions, a 1000mm
diameter (20 ton) 10%Cr-Nb-W ingot was successfully
manufactured with no segregation by the ESR
process.
2) Overlay welding condition are optimized from this
study and eight 12%Cr rotor forgings were applied the
overlay welding to the journal portions.
3) Homogeneous metallurgical and mechanical
properties in the whole forgings were confirmed.
4) The trial rotor forging of 1100mm in diameter was
successfully manufactured from a diameter of
1700mm ESR ingot.