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High Strength Steels

for Hydropower Plants

Design Concepts - Pressure Conduits
18. - 20. September 2013, Graz, Austria

Minutes of Final Discussion

– Conference Summary
Revised Version
N. Enzinger
HSS2013 18.-19.9.2013

Minutes of Final Discussion – Conference Summary

3rd International Conference
High Strength Steels for Hydropower Plants
Design Concepts – Pressure Conduits
18.-19.9.2013, Graz, Austria

The conference “High Strength Steels for Hydropower Plants”, which was held from 18.-20. September 2013 in
Graz is judged to be a great success and a valuable contribution in this field of research and technical
application. About 100 participants were present and contributed after the oral presentations as well as in the
final discussion with critical questions and remarks.

The major outcome of these contributions is summarized in this document. Three different types can be

1. Contributions which refer directly to the presentations. These are placed directly after the title of the
individual papers (chapters 0-7)
2. Oral contributions as a part of the final and summarizing discussion, which was organised in the three
major topics of the conference (chapter 8.1-8.3)
3. Written statements, which were received after the conference (chapter 8.4).

With this document we’d like to provide some more explanations of different approaches and solutions
available for different challenges and to give some insights into possible arising questions when reading the
book published in course of the conference.

Norbert Enzinger

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0 Plenary Lecture
0.1 Development, Experiences and Qualification of Steel Grades
for Hydro Power Conduits
H. Cerjak, N. Enzinger (TU Graz, Institute for Materials Science and
Welding), M. Pudar (Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik AG & Co KG) –


1 Session 1: Planning, potential, requirements, energy

development, storage concepts: Review, current
situation, future prospects (Chairs: P. Grasso, P. Matt)
1.1 Hydraulic Aspects on the Design of Water Conduits
G. Zenz, J. Schneider, W. Richter, H. Knoblauch (TU Graz, Institute o f
Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management) – AUSTRIA

 Are the surge tanks aerated? Yes;
 In Norway there are pressurized surge tanks in service
 Did you consider losses in the aeration? No
 A fluid Model for de-aeration was considered
 Loading case is very seldom – a wall was installed for the prevention of this.
 Pump storage plants have to be more complex leading to more complex surge-tanks. What is
the future development to consider this in modelling? General numerical layout combined
with physical simulation based on experience.

1.2 Steel Lining Design in Various Project Phases

P. Oberleitner, P. Steyrer (Pöyry Energy GmbH Salzburg) - AUSTRIA

 35mm limit for application of PWHT is based on experience and is an engineering measure only.
Nowadays new tough steels do not show embrittlement in HAZ anymore. Therefore this 35mm is not
a law. The application of a heat treatment is not only positive but often has negative influence (e.g.
plastic deformation). A plate behaves differently compared to a uniaxial tensile test. Therefore wide
plate tests are necessary showing much less necking. Inhomogeneous materials are applied. Especially
the weld depending on the matching behaviour can be critical.

1.3 Conventional Design of HPP Pressure Shafts according to G.

Seeber, considering the surrounding Rock Mass
A. Vigl (viglconsult ZT) - AUSTRIA

 Measure convergence after excavation. Elastic deformation is in the range of accuracy, which makes it
even more difficult. Measured data show a large scatter.

1.4 Considerations on Concepts for the Design of Pressure Shafts

G. Innerhofer sen., G. Innerhofer jun., (Vorarlberger Illwerke AG) -

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 Why are no measurements performed to determine the stiffness (like in tunnel design)?  It is not an
elastic behaviour, therefore it cannot be applied. Additionally the local gradients and deviations are
severe. Furthermore you have to know the properties before excavation which is a precondition for
proper measurement.

2 Session 2: Construction concepts for pressure tunnels

(armoured or unarmoured) (Chairs: P. M. Genton, J.
2.1 Pressure Shaft Steel Linings for HPP – Development in recent
Verbund Projects in Austria
J. Mayrhuber, P. Stering (VERBUND Hydro Power AG), H. Cerjak (TU

 fatigue analysis was performed
 consideration of concrete for fatigue by partial loading
 Tolerances regarding rooftopping? Common standard (CECT) was applied and confirmed by testing of

2.2 Obervermuntwerk II Penstock Design

P. Meusburger (Vorarlberger Illwerke AG), W. Glas (ITEG IT-Engineers

 Stop/start of turbine. How do you judge additional wear of mechanical system? An additional safety
factor is considered for all mechanically loaded parts

2.3 The Renewal of the Pressure Shaft for the High Head
Hydropower Plant Kaunertal in Austria - Part 1
P. Bonapace, A. Hammer, R. Maldet, O. Schüller (TIWAG -Tiroler
Wasserkraft AG) – AUSTRIA

 Time planning is challenging but in time at the moment
 Any risk analysis was performed? Yes, but…it is concentrated on the project and not on the program.
 Was dolomite reported before excavation? Due to existing power plant it was not a severe problem.

2.4 Reduction in Stresses in Penstock Bifurcations A Design

Concept where High Strength Steels are favored
M. Takeyama (Yonden Consultants Co., Inc.), H. Murayama (Power Tech
Consortium) – JAPAN

 Which friction losses are taken into account? Eddy losses are significant
 Inclined vs. vertical shaft – what is the reason? It depends on the construction period which is shorter
for the vertical shaft. Economically a vertical shaft is worse; additionally ground water pressure could
be higher

2.5 Challenges in the Design of Hydraulic Steel Structures and

K. Krueger, A. Lechner (Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & Co. KG) - GERMANY

 Is there a device to get back the energy which is removed from the system?

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 How much time was necessary for erection time for 3D? Volume of power house was reduced;
erection time similar to other project.
 Failure case in Russia: 65% of the area was covered with cracks…?

2.6 The Demands for Standards in Design and Quality Control of

High-Strength Steel Liners – an Engineer’s View
A. Panenka, C. Curnis (AF-Consult Switzerland Ltd.) - SWITZERLAND


3 Session 3: Safety and life cycle evaluation of existing

plants (Chairs: R. Greiner, P. Oberleitner)
3.1 In-situ Deformation Measurement of the Hongrin-Léman Shaft
O. Chène (Alpiq Suisse SA) - SWITZERLAND

 Did you measure the wall thickness? Yes by means of UT
 Difference of strains and stresses? Asymmetry of the steel lining in the shaft; maybe shaft is not
perfectly round
 Safety margin in region with rock is 1.5 and without rock participation 1.1? no; between 1.33 and 1.66
 15% pressure increase for max. dyn. loading? Loading by pumps

3.2 Fatigue Cracks Propagation in Steel-lined Pressure Shaft of

Pumped-storage Power Plants under normal Operation
F. E. Hachem and F. Giovanola (Stucky Ltd.) - SWITZERLAND

 Which safety factor was considered? No safety factor was considered
 FKM-approach? Linear elastic model
 Did you consider the effect of water? On the inner side crack: yes
 Did you consider residual stresses? No
 Material properties were taken from literature. No measurements were done on real materials
 LEFM approach is no suitable. Instead LEPM or even plastic collapse should be applied. Therefore
critical crack size is much larger.

3.3 Fatigue Assessment of Hydropower Plants – Penstocks using

IIW-Notch Stress Concept
R. Demal and C. Moser (TU Graz, Institute of Lightweight Design) -

 Fatigue assessment for damage sum for crack initiation
 No estimation of circumferential welds are available at the moment.
 Austrian standard does not allow these big imperfections.

3.4 Impact of Pressure Fluctuation on the Fatigue Life of High

Pressure Penstocks
F. Duparchy, P.-A. Chambas, H. Marin, F. Pereira, T. Combaz (Alstom
Hydro France) - FRANCE

 CECT standard fits to penstocks which are mainly static loaded. For fatigue loaded components the
requirements have to be redesigned.

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4 Session 4: Steel construction, design, safety concepts,

structural calculation (Chairs: K. Horikawa, R.
4.1 Design of Branch Pipes with High Strength Steel
Y. Hayashi and N. Watanabe (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Mechatronics
Systems, ltd.) – JAPAN

 Did you check the stress level on the inner side when lowering the sickle height? An optimisation
between stress level and hydraulic losses is necessary.
 What are the required toughness requirements of the material and the associated heat treatment? –
 Do you apply stress relief heat treatment? No – even no static pressure test is applied
 (Why is small sickle leading to lower losses? )

4.2 Design and Execution of Two Penstocks in Switzerland KLL –

Linthal 2015, KWO – Innertkirchen 1
D. A. Heinz, M. J. Herb (DSD NOELL GmbH) - GERMANY

 Bifurcator was performed by another contractor
 Circumferential weld in the tunnel using backing strips is tested by phased array and TOFD
 Roof toping and misalignment was followed CECT. But in fact roof toping was avoided due to
calibration after welding (grinding inside; outside max. 1.5mm is allowed)

4.3 New Design Aspects for Steel Linings of Pressure Shafts made
of High Strength Steel
R. Greiner (TU Graz, Institute of Steel Structures), G. Innerhofer sen.
(Vorarlberger Illwerke AG), W. Stering (TU Graz, Institute of Steel
Structures) – AUSTRIA

 Standards are required

4.4 Load Carrying Behaviour of Thrust Rings in Pressure Conduits

H. Unterweger, A. Ecker, W. Stering (TU Graz, Institute of Steel
Structures) – AUSTRIA

 Pressure distribution on the thrust ring. What is the recommended peak stress in the concrete? Higher
stresses also lead to higher stresses in the pipe
 What is the situation if you consider more thrust rings? This was not investigated. It will be considered
in further investigations.
 Are practical lab tests continued? No budget available for that at the moment.
 Large deformation of the ring. Additional stiffener rips behind the thrust ring? Was not investigated.

5 Session 5: Steel construction, design, safety concepts,

structural Calculation (Chairs: K. Krüger, J.
5.1 Nant de Drance Transition Lining and Gate Housing A
Challenge of FEA based Stress Evaluation
C. Pollak-Reibenwein, R. Ralón-Rosales (Andritz Hydro GmbH) - AUSTRIA
P. Zsak (Pöyry Energy Ltd.) – SWITZERLAND

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 A lot of welding is necessary. Stiffener welded to the box. How do you guarantee the quality of the
welds? Detailed specification and NDT is applied.
 Fatigue was considered within the project
 How did you consider elastic deformation? The body behind was modelled to estimate the stiffness
 Equations are from FKM recommendation. Are tensile and compressive stresses distinguished?
According FKM yes.

5.2 Numerical Modelling of Full-Scale Penstock Model Testing

U. Tatic, S. Sedmak, A. Djurdjevic (Innovation center of the Faculty of
Mechanical Engineering), A. Sedmak ( Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Belgrade), R. Bakić (Technical School) - SERBIA

 No further strain gauges were considered
 Only local behaviour was considered.
 Did you also check 1:1 X weld? No significant change is expected.

5.3 Stress Analysis in Rock-embedded Miter Bends - New

Derivation and Extension of existing Formulae for the Use in
A. Lechner (Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & Co. KG) – GERMANY, R. Greiner
(TU Graz, Institute of Steel Structures) - AUSTRIA, K. Krueger (V oith
Hydro Holding GmbH & Co. KG) – GERMANY

 Safety guidelines can be estimated if no data are available
 Structure is very specific.
 Max. possible angle in the kink to apply this approach?

5.4 Fatigue Strength of High Strength Steel Linings with different

Types of Grouting Openings
R. Greiner (TU Graz, Institute of Steel Structures) - AUSTRIA, A. Lechner
(Voith Hydro Holding GmbH & Co. KG) - GERMAN

 How much stress occurred in the penstock? No fatigue cracks in the past. But nowadays with grouting
holes fatigue becomes essential.

6 Session 6: Materials, joining and quality assurance

(Chairs: O. Chène, R. Egger)
6.1 Qualification Procedure of Thermomechanical Steel ALFORM
700 for Pressure Shaft Lining of Reisseck II Pumped Storage
J. Mayrhuber, Ch. Kirilowitsch (VERBUND Hydro Power AG), H. Cerjak, N.
Enzinger (TU Graz, IWS) – AUSTRIA

 Qualification program only for GTAW? Yes, SAW was considered not to be so critical.

6.2 The Renewal of the Pressure Shaft for the High Head
Hydropower Plant Kaunertal in Austria - Part 2
A. Hammer, O. Schüller, R. Maldet, P. Bonapace, (TIWAG -Tiroler
Wasserkraft AG) - AUSTRIA

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 Technical J0,2 why not physical (SZW, slide 7)? It is simpler; for shallow cracks this simplification is not
 Residual stresses reduction to 25% after PWHT? Will be measured in future

6.3 Effect of Weld Imperfections on Fracture Assessment of

Undermatched Joint of High Strength Steel for Penstocks
M. Mochizuki, S. Okano (Department of Materials and Manufacturing
Science, Osaka University) - JAPAN

 (Measurement of elongation of wide plate test; deformation (bending) influencing the results?)
 Double sided welded. Single sided with backing strip – same results expected? Very similar results are
expected. Nevertheless due to the backing strip stress situation will be completely different…

6.4 Determination of Limit Loads for New Pipe – Ring Specimens

N. Gubeljak, A. Likeb (University of Maribor, Facu lty of Mechanical
Engineering) - SLOVENIA, G. Matvienko (Mechanical Engineering
Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Science) - RUSSIA


7 Session 7: Materials, joining and quality assurance

(Chairs: M. Mochizuki, N. Enzinger)
7.1 Application of TMCP to High Tensile Strength Steel Plates for
K. Onishi (Osaka Offi ce), M. Okushima and K. Kurebayashi (Nagoya
Works), H. Katsumoto and T. Kamo (Kashima Works), T. Kawabata and
K. Fujiwara (Technical Research & Development Bureau) (all from Nippon
Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation) - JAPAN

 PWHT of thick bifurcation and influence on properties? Is not applied.
 Sickle plate up to 70mm, over that a sandwich plate is proposed? Exceeding 75mm QT type is applied.
 No heat treatment is applied for bifurcation in Japan
 Very low preheat temperatures; what about hydrogen level? It is very low (less 3ppm)

7.2 High Strength Heavy Plates for Penstocks

R. Egger, S. Kapl, F. Mayrhofer (voestalpine Grobblech G mbH) – Austria

 Which PWHT process is recommended? Depending on control
 Discussion about PWHT parameters before destroying microstructure

7.3 Current State of Welding Consumables for High Strength

H. Kawasaki, N. Hara (KOBE STEEL, LTD.) - JAPAN

 Importance of low O content. How to maintain this value in application? – flux components are
designed properly… no special measure available.
 Details about chemistry of stick electrodes could be answered.

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7.4 Comprehensive Investigations of new Filler Materials for

Welding of High Strength Steels
R. Schnitzer (Böhler Schweißtec hnik Austria GmbH), R. Rauch, W. Ernst,
J. Wagner (voestalpine Stahl GmbH), S. Baumgartner (Böhler
Schweißtechnik Austria GmbH), M. Leitner, M. Stoschka
(Montanuniversität Leoben), T. Schlagradl (TÜV Austria Services GmbH),
R. Schneider (Univ. of Appl. Sciences Upper Austria), C. Bernhard
(Montanuniversität Leoben) - AUSTRIA

 GTA not included – why? Not involved in the project; no answer possible
 FAT 210 really achieved? Not involved in the project; no answer possible

8 Overall Discussion
First time different faculties joined to discuss issues relevant to hydropower plant, which was very useful to
learn from each other.

8.1 Materials: Sessions 3, 6 and 7 (Cerjak)

 PWHT, preheating of welded component necessary? This is an essential question for design and
erection. What is the critical wall thickness? In Japan no PWHT is applied and preheating is on a
minimum level. To avoid this under matched consumable is suggested.
o Horikawa: since appx. 60 year of experience no PWHT applied.
o Think about this experience and combine it with new steels which are much less prone to
hydrogen cracking. Influence of Residual stresses must be considered. Since stresses are up to
100% first loading lead to a significant reduction of stresses.
o Different way of engineering in Japan and Europa. In a penstock two areas (pipe vs. branches)
must be considered. Branches have a lot of constraints. In terms of high RS …undetected
cracks need to decrease stresses with high temperatures. In this case mechanical properties
drop. Research in this field is necessary: when and which PWHT is to be applied. Welding in
the tunnel is to be done well without backing strips. Maybe crosswise welding is much more
safe. Do we really have safe conditions there? (French)
o Mochizuki: RS is important to consider; cracking is introduced after welding RS redistribution.
Even this condition showed nearly no influence on brittle fracture behaviour. Using steel
backing plate additionally thermal embrittlement occurs; high tensile residual stresses near
the crack ask for PWHT; In Japan ceramic backing plates are used.  PWHT depends on case
o Applying phased arrays and TOFD helps to identify geometrical issues deciding about RS and
 Undermatching (Japanese approach), even matching, overmatching (Europe approach)
o Greiner: Overmatching is preferred to avoid stress and strain concentration. This plasticity is
an essential reserve for unexpected overloads.
o Mochizuki: undermatching can be very dangerous. Apply it only when you are sure what you
do. Japanese design is not considering fatigue. Therefore undermatching fits.
o Horikawa: undermatching is used to avoid hydrogen cracking.
 Fatigue is a new issue for hydropower plants due to the renewable energy sources. Fatigue based
design of new plants and check existing plants seems to be very important
o This is a quite new topic. Codes do not consider this properly. There are many different
approaches. It is important to develop a common basis for this issue. Therefore a common
research in this area is essential.
 Which type of codes shall be used? The ones available are so many and not consistent.
o Moser: from different field of applications many different codes have been compared. All
European are traced back to IIW, which is definitely is the best for fatigue evaluation.
o Panenka: fatigue IIW is ok, but generally there is more than just fatigue. Maybe an update of
CECT should be developed under consideration of the experience from the last 30 years.

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8.2 Construction Concepts: Sessions 1, 2 (Zenz)

8.3 Safety concepts: Sessions 4, 5 (Greiner)

 A high level of numerical simulation is achieved. Basic question is: better concepts are available but
safety factors are remained unchanged.
o Panenka: Total agreement; nowadays a limiting factor of design is surrounding rock mass. In
Switzerland this is not very common today. Safety factors must be updated.
o Shall we really consider the composite of rock mass and steel? Geological investigation
should be much more detailed.
o Zenz: system behaviour must be considered. Also consider the Austrian tunnelling system.
Geology, hydrogeology, civil engineering, steel should be combined. We always have the
rock, therefore we should consider it as realistic as possible. The deformability of the rock
should be researched in more detail.
o Bonapace: beside steel also only concrete is used for penstocks. A system is necessary to
judge a real situation. Safety is always split to steel, concrete and rock.
o The question has to be extended to the limit state of buckling, which is a different load, but
has to be considered properly.
o Mayrhuber:
 in former market no need for adjusted safety factors. But in future this has to be
considered to minimize costs.
 Composite design; at the moment rock is not too much considered. The proposed
model by Greiner must be considered consequently.
o Takeyama: Similar background in Japan but a different practise. Rock participation is not
considered. Steel lining is considered as self supporting (free standing). Grouting is not
approved in Japan.
o Krüger:
 I’m afraid that there is no institute available researching in this field,
 I’m afraid that there are no engineers available,
 Such discussion will be not possible in future.
a. It is obvious that in near future there will be no dedicated
university/institute in the centre of Europe (D-A-CH) available, which is
mainly active on hydraulic steel structures (HSS in hydro power
b. Another concern, which also results due to a) that there will be no new
academic qualified engineers on the D-A-CH market available in order to
replace aging/retired engineers working for hydro equipment suppliers of
hydro power design & operating companies (successor planning).
c. Both issues a) and b) cannot be solved by the industrial partners alone.
These issues have to be re-discussed and considered since such conferences
& academic discussions similar to the HSS2013 filled with new research
achievements & lab investigations will be not possible in future anymore.

8.4 Comments on the Final Discussion of HSS 2013 (received on

Nov. 22nd 2013 from K. Horikawa)

8.4.1 Introduction
At first it shall be emphasized that Japanese concept is based on hygiene and safety of personnel working in
tunnel or cavern. Hygiene and safety take precedence over construction costs.

 PWHT is not applied to HSS for HPP since around 1960 when hygiene/safety incident happened at fuel
heating in tunnel/cavern.
 Target temperature of pre- and post-heating is 100℃ as higher temperature is not preferable for
 Researches and developments of structural design, steel, consumables and welding procedures are
executed under this concept.

8.4.2 PWHT
 One HT70, fifteen HT80 and two HT100 HPP are constructed without PWHT satisfactory.

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 Not only pipe shafts but also bifurcation are fabricated without PWHT nor hydro-pressure test.
 Fracture toughness test may be recommendable on welding joints without PWHT.
 Avoiding PWHT reduces anti-softening elements, which is better effect for cold cracking.
 Effect of residual stresses on fracture is discussed in paper S6-3(M. Mochizuki et al.) of this
 Effect on fatigue is dealt by many papers, one of which is:

K. Horikawa et al.: Fatigue crack grows rate in welded joints after stress relief heat treatment, Trans.
JWRI vol.10, pp91-95, 1981

 It says in conclusion “If residual stress can’t be cancelled perfectly, it seems that stress relief heat
treatment on prototype members is of little effect on fatigue crack growth rate.” PWHT is unable to
cancel perfectly.
 Railway bridges, including Seto-ohashi Bridges which contain up to 75mm HT80, are not applied

8.4.3 Pre- and post-heating temperature

Efforts to reduce pre- and post-heating temperature are shown in paper S7-1(K. Ohnishi et al.) for steel plates
and S7-3(H. Kawasaki et al.) for consumables.

8.4.4 Other than materials developments are

Undermatched joints are applied for reducing pre- and post-heating temperature through diminishing
hardening elements.

Glass wool backing / Ceramic baking are used instead of metal backing to avoid the risk of welding cracks or of
welding defects possibly remained root. Refer following paper:

 K. Horikawa et al.: Application of Extra-High Tensile Strength Steel for Hydropower Plants in Japan,
HSS2009, pp3-1 – 3-9, 2009

Closing by Cerjak: such a conference is needed in future continuously; please plan the next conference
therefore in Japan.

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