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Introduction to valves in the new high chrome alloy 8Cr-1Mo-V for high pressure/temperature applications
Authors: A.K. Velan, M. Mech. Eng., Prof E. CEO & President of Velan Valve Corporation, Canada The periodic in-service inspection of Section IX of the Boiler Code includes weld repairs in cast metal, and pipe welds. Records of weld-repair locations must therefore be maintained, so signs of distress found during plant operation can be related to the original fabricated conditions and standards. Metal poured into a mold cavity during the casting process solidifies with the possibility of shrinkage, segregation or porosity, which can prevent an as-poured casting from being acceptable for severe applications. Shrinkage occurs in two parts - as metal superheats above the melting point and has losses, causing shrinkage, followed by further shrinkage during solidification. Added melt compensates for the first part, but the contraction during cooling in the solid state must be compensated by oversized dimensions. Segregation, or chemical separation of the melt, occurs during solidification when a layer forms at the mold-cavity wall and progresses inward. Low fluidity over a wide temperature range allows small solid crystalsdendritesto form and grow in a treelike pattern. The initial crystals, freezing next to the mold walls, have the lowest alloy content. Farther in, the core has high alloy concentration, bearing little resemblance to the intended composition. Within each dendrite arm, microsegregation occurs. Result is microporosity, second-phase precipitation and inclusions of intermetallic or non-metallic compounds. Porosity can be caused by gases coming out of solution during cooling and becoming trapped between dendrite arms as tiny voids. Also, as dendrites solidify and shrink in volume, replacement of melt must flow along a tortuous path of interleaving dendrites. Resistance to flow may be high enough to cause microvoids and porosity. Some other defects in castings are well-defined cracks and hot tears that develop during solidification, under combination of stress concentration from uneven contraction and the metals low strength at near-melting temperatures. Cold shots develop Valve World 2002 2002 KCI Publishing BV from low casting temperature, and dirt spots result from pickup of sand or slag by molten metal. Poor foundry practices can cause other deficiencies, too. Upgrading of castings to meet X-Ray quality needs relies on the grinding out of faulty areas, weld repairs, heat treatment, and retest and examination. Even then, seating and gasket faces or buttweld ends can show fine-line cracks that need more upgrading by rewelding and remachining.

Quality of castings impaired by metal flow and solidification problems

In spite of the enormous improvements in foundry technology, assisted by computerized processes to optimize the design of patterns and flow geometry during pouring it is extremely difficult to achieve XRay / MT or PT quality to Class 1 or 2 acceptance standards required in HP/HT applications in Nuclear, Thermal Power Stations or severe services in Petrochemical Industries. Upgrading by welding is required. After weld repairs, however, the overall quality and reliability of a cast valve is difficult to determine. Sometimes all that is left is a skeleton casting with weld metal. Test bars are usually cast for each heat, but their analysis may be inconclusive. Even if the round test bar indicates acceptable chemical and physical properties, the casting itself may have undetectable inherent deficiencies that reduce strength or corrosion resistance.

Quality of the new high alloy castings 9Cr-Mo-V is even more difficult to achieve
New alloy 9Cr1MoV As power plants pressures (up to 4100 psi) and temperatures (up to 1100F (593C) are being steadily raised to increase efficiency a new alloy 9Cr1MoV with higher creep strength then F22 or even SS316 has been introduced for pipes, valves and fittings. Large savings can be achieved in piping because of reduced wall thickness. The ASME allowable stresses are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: ASME code section II allowable stresses (1,000 psi).

P2066 Castings in 9Cr1MoV have not been yet (June 2001) assigned a grade by the ASME. The castings are ordered to the ASME code case 2192-21. The ASTM grade is A217 C12A.

Valve World 2002 2002 KCI Publishing BV

P2066 Difficult processing issues in pouring castings The excellent high-temperature properties of 9CR1MO-V alloys depend on the formation of a particular microstructure (Figure 1) containing submicroscopic carbides. This is affected by the deoxidisation practices, heat-treatment, the welding process and PWHT. If those processes are not properly executed, the required creep properties will not be realized even though the composition and room temperature mechanical properties will appear acceptable.(1) Deoxidisation To remove dissolved oxygen in the molten metal prior to pouring, elements have been added which have high affinity for oxygen such as titanium, vanadium, niobium and magnesium. The proper processing, which is difficult, can assure the final acceptable proportion microstructure (Figure 1) and the expected hightemperature creep strength. Heat treatment The HT procedure is also critical and requires strict controls to ensure the proper microstructure. Difficulties in upgrading of castings by welding to meet X-Ray quality(1) The high chrome content (9%) provides very high hardenability. Consequently martensite will form in the welds and heat affected zone (HAZ) requiring proper and precise PWHT procedures. The proper interpass temperature is required to prevent cold and hot cracking as well as the proper selection of welding filler material, to produce the proper creep resistance and toughness. Acceptable microstructure of castings without ferrites or blocky carbides (100X)(1) PWHT the casting will lack the high temperature properties.(1) As it is impractical to obtain a microstructure for each casting the reliability of a given valve body is questionable, which may result in a catastrophic failure after lengthy service in high temperature (950-1100F) applications.

Unacceptable microstructure in castings with large white ferrite areas. (200X)(1)

Quality of forging begins with the segregation-free, uniform and pure ingot
Special alloys and stainless steels are manufactured in vacuum induction melt furnaces. Electrodes produced in these furnaces are remelted in vacuum with electrodes pressed directly from chemical powders, resulting in further purification. Solidification is controlled by electronic circuits making possible segregation-free ingots a task impossible to achieve with castings. Alloy steel heats are vacuum-treated on degassing units to reduce hydrogen contact to less than two parts per million and reduce metallic oxides. Teeming (pouring) of ingots is done usually under argon protection. All processes proceed under the watchful eyes of the laboratories using sophisticated equipment.

1. During the critical deoxidisation the high affinity elements can also combine with nitrogen and prevent during the heat treatment the formation of fine niobium carbonitrides which are essential for the high temperature properties.(1) If the material is not properly melted, heat treated, welded during X-Ray upgrading or during manufacturing and


Valve World 2002 2002 KCI Publishing BV


Advanced forging process for Velan 12-24 body forging

The plus value of forging for HP/HT valves

achieved on 10,000 30,000 ton presses.



Figure 1: Continuous flow lines in highly stressed crotch area. Quality assurance of forging Through the use of forging, with their uniformity and high quality, the radiographic requirement for comparable Class 1-cast components is eliminated. The same attitude has been taken by the United States Navy when using forging for valves and other components for nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers. All that is required by the ASME Code is ultrasonic examination and magnetic particle or liquid penetrant testing in the finished condition. Rejections of forging for inherent deficiencies found by U.T., M.T., or P.T. methods are rare. Procurement of parts, lead times can be controlled, resulting in more reliable valve deliveries. Comparison of directional structure of cast & forged bodies

When compared with castings, forged valve bodies offer the advantages of more uniform structure, greater density, higher strength integrity, enhanced dimensional characteristics and closer dimensional tolerances. The directional structure (flowlines) is superior from an overall strength
____________ ____________ ____________

High strength Hot forging promote recrystallization and grain refinement allowing the material to develop maximum possible strength and uniformity with a minimum variation from piece to piece. The grain flow closely follows the outline of the body and continuous flow lines decrease the susceptibility for fatigue or common failures. (Figure 2) Structural integrity Forging eliminates internal flaws and produces a coherent and uniform metallurgical structure assuring optimum performance. Where stress and intragranular corrosion are a problem, a forging will assure long life and troublefree service. Reliability The ability of forging to meet design requirements consistently is one of the most important advantages and takes into account all the preceding characteristics to some degree. Dimensional and metallurgical uniformity Dimensional uniformity of closed-die forging results in positive control of critical wall thickness, eliminating deficiencies caused by shifted cores in castings. A uniform metallurgical structure without internal flaws is assured by (a) quality, segregationfree billet and (b) high impact forces Valve World 2002 2002 KCI Publishing BV

P2066 Fatigue resistance to creep under temperature fluctuation is more than three times better for forging The formula for calculating surface stress during frequent temperature fluctuations is:

S = ( KS KN )

E (Tm Tf ) 1

For a thermal shock of 100F, average values for F22 and F91 at Tm = 400F are: S= Surface stress psi E= 28.8 106 psi (modulus of elasticity) = 7.65 10-6 in./in.F (coefficient of thermal expansion) Tm Tf= 100F (metal temperature before shock minus temperature of fluid causing shock) = 0.3 (Poisson's ratio) Ks = Surface finish stress intensification factor = 4.0 for castings with nonmachined waterway = 1.2 for forged machined waterway Kn = 1 (notch stress intensification factor, assuming no sharp edges in stressed area) Surface stress for forging = 37,769 psi Surface stress for casting = 125,897 psi

[1] Donald R. Bush (Fisher) articles in Valve Magazine Volume 13, Winter 2001.

Valve World 2002 2002 KCI Publishing BV