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Science and Technology of Welding and Joining ISSN: 1362-1718 (Print) 1743-2936 (Online) Journal homepage:
Science and Technology of Welding and Joining ISSN: 1362-1718 (Print) 1743-2936 (Online) Journal homepage:

Science and Technology of Welding and Joining

ISSN: 1362-1718 (Print) 1743-2936 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ystw20

Evaluation of options for weld repair of Grade 91 piping and components: metallographic characterisation

J D Parker & J A Siefert

To cite this article: J D Parker & J A Siefert (2013) Evaluation of options for weld repair of Grade 91 piping and components: metallographic characterisation, Science and Technology of Welding and Joining, 18:6, 507-517, DOI: 10.1179/1362171813Y.0000000132

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Evaluation of options for weld repair of Grade 91 piping and components: metallographic characterisation

J. D. Parker * and J. A. Siefert

Creep strength enhanced ferritic (CSEF) steels such as Grade 91 are the preferred materials for many of the high temperature boiler tubing and piping components used in modern power generating plants. Validation of temperbead welding techniques is particularly important for Grade 91 steel as accurate post-weld heat treatment (PWHT) has proven to be difficult in field applications. Even a well-controlled PWHT can degrade the base material strength, and a poorly performed heat treatment can lead to subsequent creep properties being below the minimum expected by codes. Successful demonstration of temperbead techniques for Grade 91 steel would alleviate these concerns and create additional options in designing a ‘well-engineered’ repair. This article presents the results from a project evaluating options for field repair of Grade 91 components. Metallographic characterisation of the welds produced is described with future publications providing results from cross-weld creep testing and post-test examination.

Keywords: Weld, Repair, Creep, Grade 91, Creep strength enhanced ferritic steel

Introduction

Grade 91 and Grade 92 steels are part of the family of materials known as creep strength enhanced ferritic (CSEF) steels. Currently, Grade 91 steel 1 is the material of choice in a wide range of high energy applications, including fossil-fuel fired and combined cycle power plants. 2 Standard construction methods require that all welds in metallurgically complex alloys undergo post- weld heat treatment (PWHT). In creep resistant steels PWHT is normally considered necessary to:

N temper the weldment microstructure to alleviate concerns that untempered bainite or martensite would have low fracture resistance; N reduce the residual stresses present after welding at temperatures where there is sufficient available ductility for the associated strain to take place without introducing damage. These traditional views are well known, and were first advanced when low alloy steels were used in steam piping applications. Early experience showed that CrMoV steels are prone to severe cracking problems; the majority of these issues were identified as reheat cracking. Much research during the 1970s revealed that the reheat cracking is a consequence of extreme creep brittleness in the weld heat affected zone (HAZ). Improving the available ductility was the key to solving these problems. The required improvement in ductility was achieved, in part by

Electric Power Research Institute, 1300 West W. T. Harris Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28262, USA

*Corresponding author, jparker@epri.com

complementary actions in limiting alloy composition (particularly C, V and tramp elements such as As, Sn, Sb and Pb) and imposing sufficient weld process control to ensure refinement of the prior austenite grain size in the HAZ, see Fig. 1. 3,4 The knowledge created in solving these issues was the basis for further work by the CEGB, EPRI and ORNL establishing temper bead welding processes for a number of boiler and pressure vessel applications. 57 While the development of residual stresses during welding or heat treatment is unavoidable when constraint is present, phase transformations have been shown to influence the build-up of residual stresses. Experiments 8,9 have demonstrated that transformation of plasticity during cooling from the austenite phase field acts to relieve the build-up of thermal stress as the sample cools, see Fig. 2. Austenitic steel shows no phase transforma- tion and, thus, exhibited a continuous increase in residual stress with decreasing temperature. During cooling of steels which transform to bainite (2?25Cr1Mo type) or martensite (9Cr-1Mo and Grade 91 type), the transfor- mation strain compensates for the thermal contraction strains that arise during cooling. Thus, significant residual stresses were found to develop only after the bainitic or martensitic transformation was completed and the speci- mens approached ambient temperature, Fig. 2. 8,9 In the case of Grade 91 simulated HAZ microstructure, the peak temperature where full transformation to martensite occurs (denoted as a peak temp. of 950uC) results in lower residual stress on cooling to room temperature than either the subcritically heat treated Grade 91 HAZ (peak temp. of 780uC) or the 2?25Cr-1Mo material. These observations are profound because it may be possible to utilise a temperbead procedure for welding

2013 Institute of Materia ls, Minerals and Mining Published by Maney on behalf of the Institute Received 8 January 2013 ; accepted 25 April 2013 DOI 10.1179/1362171813Y.0000000132

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Downloaded by [Wuhan University] at 19:38 16 September 2017 1 Schematic diagram showing representative regions in

1 Schematic diagram showing representative regions in the weld metal and the HAZ

Grade 91 steel without encountering the problems typically associated with excessive welding residual stress. Tempered bead welding processes rely on the fact that the heat input from the different weld layers can be used to heat treat the solid present. This solid may be in previous layers of weld metal or in the HAZ. The extent of the required control involves close definition of factors such as electrode size, bead to bead overlap, travel speed, etc. It is now established that, with an appropriate weld procedure and the required quality assurance, welding without PWHT can be carried out on many of the low alloy steels used for high energy piping. This article discusses the evaluation of weld variables, including weld consumables, repair method ( i.e. tem- perbead versus conventional) and PWHT, for Grade 91 piping steel. This article also presents optical metallo- graphic characterisation of the microstructure and detailed hardness mapping.

Experimental Procedures

The properties and performance of Grade 91 base metal are particularly dependent on the original composition and the full heat treatment history. Since all thermal treatments have the potential to modify the steel

thermal treatments have the potential to modify the steel 2 Interpretation of experimental data (determined using

2 Interpretation of experimental data (determined using the Satoh test) showing how residual stresses develop on cooling for austenitic steel (no transformation), bai- nitic low alloy steel (relatively high temperature of transformation) and martensitic steel (relatively low temperature of transformation). From Ref. 10, based on the data from Refs 8 and 9

Parker and Siefert Grade 91 weld repair

microstructure, and hence properties, there have been concerns expressed that the repairability of Grade 91 steel may ultimately be limited by the condition of the base metal. These concerns are determined by the fact that severe or repeated tempering may reduce the strength below that expected by codes. A section of P91 steel piping which had been heat treated without proper control was selected as the base material for the project. The steel composition complied with the limits specified by the recent EPRI guidelines, 2 Table 1.

Welding Procedures

The key variables considered in the present project are summarised in Table 2. Each weld was manufactured using two sections of this component, each approxi- mately 300 mm square and 50 mm thick. Although the parent sections were all of the same composition, the base metal microstructural conditions were different. Thus, one set of welds, designated A, was manufactured under the original metal heat treated conditions while the other set, designated B, manufactured after perform- ing full renormalising and tempering heat treatment. The renormalising and tempering conditions used were within the recommended EPRI specified ranges. 2 Detailed procedures, including close control of the bead sequence and welding parameters, were used during weld manufacture. In particular, a well con- trolled preheat of 150 uC (300uF) was used to ensure as far as possible that complete transformation to marten- site occurred after welding was complete. This preheat temperature was selected to be below the reported martensite finish (MF) temperature for Grade 91 steel. 11 Thus, the weldment transformed to martensite before deposition of successive weld passes. The different welding procedures used to make the weldments are outlined below:

N

N

N

Normal procedure: the welding procedure was per- formed with no specific guidance beyond normal ‘good practice’. Welders utilised proper sized elec- trode for given layers (1/8 in (3? 2 mm) in root and 5/32 in (4? 0 mm) for remaining fill), using the SMAW process, 300 uF (150u C) preheat and 600 uF (315u C) interpass temperature.

Temperbead [A]: this involved a three layer techni- que, where the electrode size was increased of each of the initial layers. Thus, the electrode diameters were as follows: layer 1 used 3/32 in (2?5 mm), layer 2 1/8 in (3? 2 mm) and layer 3 used 5/32 in (4? 0 mm). The fill passes were also performed using 5/32 in (4? 0 mm) electrodes. All welding was performed using the SMAW process, 300u F (150uC) preheat and 600 uF (315uC) interpass temperature.

Temperbead [B] : this involved using a two layer technique, where the electrode size was increased for each of the temperbead layers: 3/32 in (2?5 mm) and 5/32 in (4? 0 mm). The fill was performed using a

Table 1 Composition of steel components used in the present study

Al

As

C

Nb

Cr

Cu

Fe

Mn

Mo

0 ? 006 0? 005 0? 110 0 ?070 8? 22 0 ?160 89?3

Sb

N

0 ? 039 0? 011 0? 009 0 ?001 0? 31 0 ?010

0? 45 0? 94 N:Al

P

S

Si

Sn

V

0? 210 6? 5

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5/32 in (4? 0 mm) electrode. All welding was per- formed using the SMAW process, 300u F (150u C) preheat and 600 uF (315uC) interpass temperature.

N Temperbead [C] : this involved using a two layer technique, where the electrode size was increased for each of the temperbead layers: 3/32 in (2?5 mm)–1/8 in (3 ? 2 mm). The fill was performed using a 1/8 in (3?2 mm) electrode. All welding was performed using an SMAW process, 300uF (150uC) preheat and 600uF (315uC) interpass temperature.

Hardness Testing

Hardness testing is frequently used to assess the weldment microstructure. These hardness measurements do not normally have a direct link with properties such as creep strength or fracture toughness. Nevertheless, hardness measurements are frequently considered as offering a guide to such properties. In this work, comprehensive mapping was performed using an auto- mated hardness system. Maps of this nature allow an evaluation of how hardness changes with factors such as microstructure, weld thermal cycles, etc. and provide a view on the quality of the weld process. Details of the system and the procedure used have been published previously. 12 The hardness mapping was performed as follows:

N base and weld material characterisation using a macroload of 5 kg and y 150 indents under the as- welded conditions and following PWHT (where applicable);

N Vickers microhardness mapping through the HAZ and temperbead layers (where applicable) was per- formed using a 200g load. For nickel-base repair procedures (9A/B, 10A/B) and ferritic repair procedures specifying a PWHT (1A/B, 2A/ B, 7A/B), the size of the hardness map was 3? 75mm wide and 10? 8mm high, with a 0? 15 mm spacing, for a total of 1800 indents. For ferritic-base repair procedures using a

Table 2 Summary of key aspects of the variables considered

Parker and Siefert Grade 91 weld repair

considered Parker and Siefert Grade 91 weld repair 3 Macro image and detail of the hardness

3 Macro image and detail of the hardness map location for weldment 5A, the E8015-B8, 9Cr1Mo temperbead weld. Hardness map taken using a 200 g Vickers inden- ter, size of map measures 12 mm wide and 7?6 mm high and spacing is 0? 20 mm

temperbead welding procedure, the size of the hardness map was 12 ? 0 mm wide and 7? 6 mm high, with 0? 20 mm spacing for a total of 2280 indents. In this case, the spacing and map size were selected to ensure that the hardness map covered the width of the HAZ and the temperbead layers (either two or three). An example of the location and extent of a hardness map is shown in Fig. 3; these micrographs were taken from weldment 5A, the E8015-B8, 9Cr1Mo temperbead weld. The hardness results for the base material, weld material and HAZ/temperbead layers were analysed using simple statistics. Additionally, the hardness results for the HAZ/temperbead layers were further scrutinised and examined for trends in the data which demonstrated tempering in the HAZ and/or temperbead layers.

Results

This section describes the work performed in terms of metallographic characterisation and hardness mapping.

 

Weld metal

Weld

Base material

AWS design

Trade name

1,2

Welding procedure

3

PWHT

1A

Service-exposed Grade 91 (‘A’) Renormalised and tempered Grade 91 (‘B’)

E9015-B9

Thermanit Chromo

Normal procedure

 

1375uF (746uC)/2 h

9V Mod.

z

Typ. PWHT

1B

E9015-B9

Thermanit Chromo

Normal procedure

 

1930uF (1054uC)/2 h

9V Mod.

z

Renormalisation

z 1375F (746uC)/2 h

 

z

tempering

2A, 2B

E9015-B9

Thermanit Chromo

Normal procedure

 

1250uF (676uC)/2 h

 

9V Mod.

z

Low PWHT

3A, 3B

E9015-B9

Thermanit Chromo

Temperbead [A]

 

None

 

9V Mod.

4A, 4B

Service-exposed

E9015-B9

Thermanit Chromo

Poor practice

 

None

 

9V Mod.

temperbead [A]

 

5A, 5B

Grade 91 (‘A’) Renormalised and tempered Grade 91 (‘B’)

E8015-B8

9Cr-1Mo

Temperbead [B]

 

None

6A, 6B

E9015-G (-B23)

Thermanit P23

Temperbead [A]

None

7A, 7B

E9015-G (-B23)

Thermanit P23

Normal procedure

1375uF (746uC)/2 h

 

z

Typ. PWHT

8A, 8B

E9018-B3

2? 25Cr-1Mo

Temperbead [A]

 

None

9A, 9B

ENiCrFe-4 ( in Code Case)

EPRI P87

Temperbead [C]

None

10A, 10B

ENiCrFe-2

INCO-WELD A

Temperbead [A]

None

1 Thermanit is a registered trademark of Boehler Schweisstechnik Deutschland GmbH. 2 INCO-WELD is a registered trademark of the Special Metals Corporation family of companies. 3 The letter after each temperbead procedure signifies a specific welding procedure, detailed below.

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Downloaded by [Wuhan University] at 19:38 16 September 2017 4 Image detailing the different macrolayers through

4 Image detailing the different macrolayers through a typical temperbead weldment

Metallographic analysis included preparation of full- section macrosamples polished and etched to reveal the bead profile for the fill passes and temperbead layers.

Metallographic analysis

The parent steel sections used were taken from a Grade 91 steel component in which the heat treatment during manufacture was not properly controlled. The lack of control resulted in a broad range of microstructures in the base metal, these ranged from highly tempered martensite to ferrite. Large cross-sections were taken from each of the completed weldments containing both sides of the base material, HAZ, temperbead layers and the entire thickness of the weld for metallographic assessment. The metallographic assessment of weldments showed that, as-expected, the specified procedures had been followed during welding. The typical microstructure from the base metal across the HAZ and buttered layers for weld 3 is shown in Fig. 4. The examinations showed that there were no significant defects in the various filler materials. However, low levels of ferrite were noted in the deposited E8015-B8 weld metal. Advanced char- acterisation (such as EBSD or TEM) was not utilised to verify if the observed ferrite was a - or d -ferrite. Slag inclusions at the bottom of the weld beads were noted in the deposited EPRI P87 weld metal and microfissures were present in the deposited INCO-WELD A weld metal. The effect of the specific thermal cycles on micro- structure depends on the metallurgical system being considered and the detailed conditions of the base metal. Because all welds were made using the base metal from the same component, the microstructural regions pre- sent in the HAZ of each welds were similar. The general features of the weld metal and HAZ are shown in Fig. 5 and the descriptive summary is as follows:

(i) Coarse grain region (CGHAZ): the material near the fusion boundary reaches a temperature well above AC 3 during welding. Precipitates which constitute the main obstacle to grow the austenite grains are dissolved, so that once austenite is formed the growth of austenite grains is relatively rapid resulting in a ‘coarse’ grain structure. In the 9–12 Cr steels, the region containing relatively coarse grained austenite transforms into martensite on cooling under typical conditions, Fig. 5, location 3. (ii) Fine grain region (FGHAZ): as the distance from the fusion line increases the peak tem- perature during welding decreases. In the FGHAZ, the peak temperature is above the AC 3 resulting in complete transformation to

Parker and Siefert Grade 91 weld repair

austenite. However, this temperature is not

sufficient to dissolve all the precipitates present. Thus, austenite grain growth is limited by the incomplete dissolution of carbides, nitrides or carbo-nitrides. The fine grained austenite pro- duced will mostly transform to martensite in the 9–12 Cr steels under typical cooling. In loca- tions where the prior austenite grain size is very small, the ability of these very fine grains to undergo a fully shear type transformation may

 

be

limited. The typical microstructure is shown

in

Fig. 5, location 4.

(iii)

Intercritical region (ICHAZ): in this region the peak temperature exceeds the AC 1 but not the

AC 3 . Thus there will be some new austenite formed during the heating cycle. Some amount

of

the precipitates may dissolve but the combi-

nation of time and temperature is insufficient for complete dissolution of all precipitates. There will thus be only a partial reversion to austenite on heating. This new austenite will

predominantly transform to martensite on cool- ing, but it should be emphasised that the description ‘intercritical’ can be used to describe

a

wide range of conditions. There is some

variation of specific microstructural features within an ‘intercritical’ region, Fig. 5, location 5.

(iv)

Highly tempered region : Beside the parent

material, the time and temperature combination will modify the local substructure. In CSEF steels this modification may relate to changes in precipitates and/or the locally high dislocation density. In either case, these changes will likely not be easily resolved using optical metallogra- phy and will only be determined using advanced electron optics. Using optical microscopy the HAZ microstructures were similar for each weld. However, the width of the apparent HAZ was different. Thus, the HAZ was about 20% smaller for the welds made using nickel base alloy consumables than that for comparable ferritic welds. This observation arises as a result of the difference in heat input for a given diameter electrode. Thus, nickel base filler materials normally require smaller amperage for a given voltage and travel speed than ferritic steels.

Hardness of parent material

The hardness distributions from four different ‘A’ weldments are shown in Fig. 6. It should be noted that these four weldments constitute the material removed from four different locations in the sectioned compo- nent. All these results were obtained using a Vickers indenter and a 5 kg load, and the experiment is conducted in accordance with ASTM E384. 13 In each case, the data obtained were represented using a normal distribution, the average hardness values (mean), stan- dard deviation (StDev) and sample size ( N ), see Fig. 6. For the four locations shown, the mean hardness values were 160, 164, 176 and 197 HV5. It is apparent that despite showing a sensible distribution the recorded hardness values are significantly different. Since each distribution seems to be sensible and consistent, the observed variation appears to be the result of micro- structural variations rather than simply a function of measurement scatter. Data on properly heat treated Grade 91 steel components generally show a scatter of

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5 Microstructural regions from a typical temperbead weld, based on the descriptions shown in Fig. 1

¡7 HV5 with the average hardness above 200 HV5. 12 The observed variation in hardness is consistent with the fact that the observed optical microstructures varied from tempered martensite to highly tempered marten- site. A section of this parent pipe was renormalised and tempered under controlled conditions. This heat treat- ment was successful in establishing a homogeneous microstructure of tempered martensite. The renorma- lised and tempered material was used to make a set of weldments, classified as ‘B’ in Table 2. Hardness

measurements indicated that the mean value for the properly heat treated Grade 91steel was y 240 HV5. There was little variation in the hardness values for the ten ‘B’ weldments and all these values are typical for tempered martensite in Grade 91 steel.

Hardness of welds

After metallographic examination detailed hardness mapping was carried out across the HAZ and/or temperbead layers. In general, the maps taken from the HAZ of each sample were similar. An example of a

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16 September 2017 Parker and Siefert Grade 91 weld repair 6 Hardness variations in Grade 91

6 Hardness variations in Grade 91 ‘A’ base material (incorrectly heat treated)

hardness map is shown in Fig. 7. This example shows the hardness distribution in the region of the buttered layers and HAZ for weldment 5A, the E8015-B8, 9Cr1Mo temperbead weld. The measured hardness values for this weld varied with the different constituent microstructures. Thus, in the martensitic weld and HAZ the measured values ranged from 300 Hv to 450 Hv. The fact that significant regions exhibited measured hardness values below 350 Hv indicates that the welding procedure had been successful in tempering much of the weld and HAZ. Indeed, although pockets of apparently untempered martensite were identified, these untem- pered regions were local and isolated. The hardness values for the mal heat treated base metal were, as expected, at or even below 200 Hv. Detailed analysis was performed with the data obtained from the HAZ of each weld. This analysis considered the degree to which the welding procedure had been able to temper the microstructure. The results are summarised in Table 3, with the distribution of data for each weld shown in Fig. 8. The base line results were

taken from welds 1A and 2A, E9015-B9 consumable, under the as-welded conditions. These welds were fabricated using a typical procedure followed by either a PWHT using normal conditions for weld 1, i.e. 2 h at 746 uC, or a deliberately low PWHT of 2 h at 676u C for weld 2. For these welds the measured hardness values showed

a relatively large range, with a median hardness determined at around 390 Hv. In both weld 1 and weld

2, PWHT was successful in reducing the hardness,

Fig. 9. The measured values for weld 1, the normal PWHT, were all below 300 Hv, and the values for weld 2, the low PWHT, were all below 350 Hv, Fig. 9. There was little difference in the HAZ hardness response for the ‘A’ and ‘B’ heat treatment conditions. Both material conditions were extremely hardenable. However, the weldments made using a nickel base filler with a temperbead welding procedure revealed that the width of the HAZ was reduced as compared to the ferritic filler materials. This reduction is because of the lower heat input requirement of the filler material. In

Table 3 Summary of hardness measurements made across the HAZ of each weld

Weldment Filler metal

Welding procedure 1 Min First quartile Median Third quartile 95% 99% Max

2A

E9015-B9

Low PWHT

221

329

388

440

494

516

530

3A

TBW

195 296

347

390

423

434

444

4A

Poor TBW

217 303

372

425

461? 5 476

484

5A

E8015-B8

TBW

208 292? 5

337

381

446

464

467

6A

E9015-G Grade 23

TBW

209 258

322

388

428

448

452

8A

E9018-B3

PWHT

214 300

356

390

425

440

450

9A

ENiCrFe-4 EPRI P87

TBW

184 284

342

396

440

458

487

10A

ENiCrFe-2 INCO WELD A

TBW

203 290

318

377

429? 5 446

458

2B

E9015-B9

Low PWHT

244

359

395

438

489

508

518

5B

E8015-B8

TBW

243 314

346

393

427

440

444

9B

ENiCrFe-4 EPRI P87

TBW

268 330

368

398

429

452

465

10B

ENiCrFe-2 INCO WELD A

TBW

268 326

342

357

423

446

454

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16 September 2017 Parker and Siefert Grade 91 weld repair 7 Hardness map measured across the

7 Hardness map measured across the tempered layers and the HAZ of weldment 5A, the E8015-B8, 9Cr1Mo temperbead weld

the HAZ of weldment 5A, the E8015-B8, 9Cr1Mo temperbead weld 8 Comparison of the measured hardness

8 Comparison of the measured hardness values from the HAZ of each weld fabricated in the metal-heat-treated Grade 91 base metal

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16 September 2017 Parker and Siefert Grade 91 weld repair 9 Distributions of measured hardness for

9 Distributions of measured hardness for E9015-B9 weldments 1A and 2A under the as-welded conditions compared with distributions after PWHT, 1A at 746uC/2 h and 2A at 676uC/2 h

addition, tempering of the HAZ appeared to be highest for the welds made with the INCO-WELD A filler. Thus, the median HAZ hardness was 318 Hv for weld 10A and 344 Hv for weld 10B. It is apparent that in these welds the bead penetration reduced any tendency for overheating or ‘burn through’ and the three temper bead layers provided appropriate thermal cycles to temper much of the HAZ. Nickel base filler materials have the further potential benefits in a repair since the weld metal does not require tempering to avoid the potential complexities associated with low toughness. Detailed analysis of the data obtained from the weld metal of each weld was also performed. These results are summarised in Table 4, with the distribution of data for each weld shown in Fig. 10. All the nickel based welds showed similar hardness values with median values of 211 Hv. Of the martensitic steels, the E8015-B8 weld metal showed a lower weld metal hardness, median 343 Hv, as compared to E9015-B9, median around

400 Hv, Fig. 10. This difference is indicative of the lower tempering resistance of the deposited E8015-B8 weld metal which contains no alloying additions of the hardening elements (i.e . V, Nb, N). Interestingly, the measurements for the 2CrMo type welds revealed hardness distributions which were similar to the B8 weld metal. Thus, the median values were 334 Hv and 337 Hv for the weld 6A E9015-G Grade 23 and weld 8A E9018-B3 welds, respectively.

Discussion

This work considering the fabrication of temperbead welds is particularly important for Grade 91 steel as the temperature distributions developed during PWHT have proven to be difficult to control. Indeed, all heat treatments can reduce the strength of Grade 91 steel so that even well controlled PWHT can degrade the base material strength. In the extreme, it has been suggested

Table 4 Summary of hardness measurements made in the weld metal of each weldment

Weldment Filler metal

Welding procedure 1 Min First quartile Median Third quartile 95% 99% Max

2A

E9015-B9

Low PWHT

353

407

429

454

476

506

521

3A

TBW

292

371

401

440

467

480

501

4A

Poor TBW

302

377

407

436

463

475

505

5A

E8015-B8

TBW

244

317

343

380

423

442

456

6A

E9015-G Grade 23

TBW

252

312

334

352

378

396

436

8A

E9018-B3

PWHT

274

315

337

360

400

419

438

9A

ENiCrFe-4 EPRI P87

TBW

185

204

211

217

230

259

272

10A

ENiCrFe-2 INCO WELDA

TBW

193

207

211

217

227

250

277

2B

E9015-B9

Low PWHT

325

383

403

427

463

482

487

5B

E8015-B8

TBW

238

323

372

402

425

440

462

9B

ENiCrFe-4 EPRI P87

TBW

186

204

211

219

236

264

267

10B

ENiCrFe-2 INCO WELDA

TBW

187

206

211

218

233

263

266

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Parker and Siefert Grade 91 weld repair

16 September 2017 Parker and Siefert Grade 91 weld repair 10 Comparison of the measured hardness

10 Comparison of the measured hardness values from the weld metal of each weld fabricated in the metal-heat-treated Grade 91 base metal

that the reduction in strength resulting from repeated tempering will require the replacement of Grade 91 steel components after one or two repairs. In contrast, a poorly performed heat treatment can lead to subsequent creep properties being below the minimum expected by codes; thus, greatly increasing the risk of in-service component failure. The development of temperbead techniques for Grade 91 steel would alleviate these concerns and create additional options in designing a ‘well-engineered’ repair. In general, recommendations for fabrication of pressure boundary welds in steam lines seek to use filler metal which ‘matches’ the base metal. In many cases, the first criterion used to assess the ability to achieve matching behaviour is to assess the tensile properties of the filler. The measured strength and the ability to manufacture a weld free of defects are then often

considered sufficient information to assess the quality of

a repair procedure. Since in many steels strength is

linked to hardness, a further requirement that is applied

in some circumstances is to provide limits of measured

hardness or microhardness. Thus, it is often the case that even though the design of high energy components is based on creep behaviour, assessments of weld proce-

dures do not require direct measurement of creep strength and ductility nor fracture toughness. When considering the creep behaviour of thick section welds in Grade 91 steels it should be emphasised that both service experience and laboratory testing indicate that the expected failure mode is likely to be Type IV

cracking. 14 Thus, the creep performance under plant conditions is likely to be governed by performance of the HAZ. Based on EPRI analysis of cross-weld creep data it appears that for tests at # 100 MPa, the expected Type IV life will be between 25% and 50% of the base metal under the same stress and temperature conditions. The suggestion that the HAZ will be creep life limiting indicates that the over simplification to weld design based on strength matching does not necessarily lead to optimal performance. Indeed, the observed Type IV creep life reduction is such that weld efficiency factors have been widely proposed as integral part of the design of welded CSEF components (e.g. Ref. 15). Based on the consideration of the effect of martensitic transformation on welding residual stresses, now there could be a further reason why 9–12%Cr CSEF steels are universally susceptible to Type IV cracking. There is a band within the HAZ where martensitic transformation does not take place. This could be in the fine grained location or where peak temperatures were in the intercritical region. In either case, it appears that the lack of martensitic transformation will lead to locally high residual stresses. Recent measurements using neutron diffraction support this position and suggest that the highest residual stresses do occur within the HAZ. 16 These stresses will relax by strain. However, since martensitic steels exhibit strain softening, these relaxation processes would lead to further reductions in strength compared to those expected from the non- optimal microstructure within the HAZ. In any event, it

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N Filler metal under-matching in strength for the normal base metal

N PWHT may not be sufficient to restore toughness in weld metal

N Potential for premature dissimilar metal weld Susceptibility to reheat cracking in the filler metal Risk of long term issues because of diffusion, potential for premature weld failure

N Risk of long term issues because of diffusion, potential for

N Filler metal under-matching in strength following PWHT

N Typical B8 consumables have different carbon levels

N Potential for premature dissimilar metal weld failure

Susceptibility to reheat cracking in the filler metal

Risk of long term issues because of diffusion

N High hardenability of filler metal N Poor toughness in weld metal Creep life depends on Type IV cracking

Tendency to form microfissures in weld

premature weld failure Filler metal under-matching in strength

N Tendency to form slag inclusions

Formation of ferrite in the weld

N PWHT below code minimums

N Challenging inspectability

N Challenging inspectability

Low temperature strength

Concerns

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N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

Filler metal may match the creep strength of the Type IV region Less hardenable filler metal may temper more readily during welding (as well as in service) Less concern for carbon migration as Cr in weld and base reasonably matching

N Less hardenable filler metal may temper more readily during welding (as well as

N Matching filler metal Low PWHT decreases tempering of base metal, reducing reduction in strength

N Less hardenable filler metal may temper more readily thus reducing the PWHT temperature

Less hardenable filler metal may temper more readily during welding (as well as in service)

of the steel aged AC parent 1 material

N Filler metal strength may match the aged parent material

N Matching filler metal Uses procedures which mirror those of new construction

exceeding

risk of strength

match the the creep

Table 5 Advantages and concerns for investigated welding procedures

N High filler metal toughness

N High filler metal toughness

will decrease

N High filler metal strength

N High filler metal strength

metal may

Filler PWHT

Advantages

in service)

N N Low

N

N

N

N

N

N

Normal z low PWHT

Welding procedure

Normal z PWHT

TBW

TBW

TBW

TBW

TBW

TBW

INCO-WELD A

Filler metal

ENiCrFe-4

ENiCrFe-2

E9015-B9

E9015-B9

E8015-B8

E9018-B3

Grade 23

Grade 23

EPRI P87

E9015-G

E9015-G

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is likely that the relaxation strain would be relatively high so that there would be effective reduction in subsequent creep life. This offers a further reason why

the Type IV life in CSEF steels is relatively insensitive to

changes in the creep strength of the parent. This explanation suggests that when considering the best option repairs simple criteria based on how well the strength of the consumable matches the assumed properties of the parent or applying a measured hardness range will not provide a full evaluation of in- service capabilities. In addition to the hardness results, there are a multitude of considerations that must be accounted for when presented with the need for a weld repair in a

Grade 91 component. These concerns include but are not limited to inspectability, filler metal strength, long- term stability (as in carbon migration), toughness, known weld cracking issues (including microfissuring, reheat cracking or slag) and the accumulation of residual stresses. Some of these factors are summarised in Table 5 in the form of advantages and concerns for each of the welding procedures investigated. An overall assessment of the repair procedures in Grade 91 steel must establish the creep behaviour of the repair using cross-weld creep testing, under conditions and specimen geometries representative of Type IV failure. A series of screening tests are in progress at a stress of 625 uC (1157 uF) and 80 MPa (11 ?6 ksi). These conditions have previously been shown to result in Type

IV cracking in conventionally welded Grade 91 cross-

weld creep tests after y5000 h. 17

Conclusions

Grade 91 type steels are now widely used in power boilers and high energy piping. Indeed, there is every expectation that these steels will continue to be the steels of choice in high energy components for the foreseeable future. There

will thus be an increasing need to perform remedial action

of components manufactured from this steel. However, because the properties and performance of the base metal are dependent on the composition and the full heat treatment history, concerns have been raised that the

ability to fabricate acceptable repairs in Grade 91 steel

will be limited. It is thus clear that the ability to undertake

well engineered repairs without the need for using traditional PWHT will be of major benefit. In the present studies, weld repairs in Grade 91 steel were successfully produced using temperbead welding procedures with a variety of filler metals and bead

Parker and Siefert Grade 91 weld repair

sequences. The metallographic and hardness evaluation of these weldments is just the first step of a more rigorous evaluation process which will be used to assess the performance of these repairs.

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