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Condition Assessment VC3EI

Evaluating the Condition and Remaining Life


of Older Power Plants

Zusammenfassung Da es immer eine Mischung von schleichen-


dem und nicht-schleichendem Qualitätsverlust Remaining Life Time Methodology
im Gesamtprozess geben wird, ist der Autor
Evaluierung des Zustands und der der Ansicht, dass die kosteneffizienteste Mög-
Restlebensdauer älterer Kraftwerke lichkeit zur Handhabung von „schleichendem The art of determining a plant's actual status
und nicht-schleichendem Qualitätsverlust" in
der Durchführung eines progressiven, aber and how much of its entire service life has
flexiblen Inspektionsplans besteht, der von expired lies in the combination of analytic
In der gegenwärtigen Situation gibt die In-
spektion, Prüfung und Bewertung von Kraft- einem Team aus Experten für Werkstoffe und considerations, calculation methods, the rel -
werken häufig Anlass zu folgender Frage: Wie zerstörungsfreie Prüfungen sowie aus War- evant non-destructive tests, including strain
lange können Kraftwerke sicher und kostenef- tungs- und Betriebspersonal der Anlage aus- measurements and the correct selection of
fizient betrieben werden und dabei gleichzeitig gearbeitet wurde.
those components, in which account is taken
den gestiegenen Anforderungen hinsichtlich of the respective damage.
der betrieblichen Verfügbarkeit und reduzier-
ten Schadstoffemissionen genügen, wenn sie Background
Unexpected damage may be caused by ex -
ihre ursprünglich vorgesehene Lebensdauer in
Betrieb waren? ceeding thermal, static, and/or dynamic pa -
The current situation regarding the assess- rameters which are used as the basis for cal -
Diese Frage ist von wachsender Bedeutung,
wenn man berücksichtigt, dass der Anteil der ment, testing and inspection of power culations.
über 30 Jahre alten Anlagen unter den derzeit plants frequently results in the formulation
betriebenen Kraftwerken steigt. Um diese of the following question: how long can An important basis for the results is the
Frage zu beantworten, muss zuerst die Be- power plants be operated safely and cost- analysis of the actual operational data (e.g.
triebstauglichkeit der bestehenden Anlage un- effectively while satisfying increased temperature, pressure, throughput), opera-
tersucht werden. tional experience and operational tenders.
requirements pertaining to operational
Weltweit gibt es keine Restlebensdauer-
Methodik, die alle Unwägbarkeiten berück- availability and reduced pollutant emis- A systematic integral approach which allow:;
sichtigt, wie z. B. die Streuung der Material- sions after having served their originally assessment of the plant's current operational
eigenschaften und zusätzliche Systembelas- designed service life? capability and safety is only possible by cor-
tungen. Der Beitrag erläutert die Grundlagen
der Reststandzeit-Methodik (RLT Methodol- This question is of growing importance rectly drawing a correlation between the op-
ogy) von LABORELEC für Qualitätsverluste considering that the percentage of plants erational load and the actual status of the
von Werkstoffen, wie Kriechen, thermische Er- currently in operation that are more than 30 plant or its components, which has been ob-
müdung und Erosion oder Korrosion: tained from tests and inspections.
years old is rising. In order to answer this
— Konstruktionsdaten, Betriebs- und War-
tungsgeschichte, ) question the operational capability of the Based on these results, the right measures for
existing plant must first be investigated. future procedures can then be initiated in a
— zerstörungsfreie Prüfungen und Zerstö-
rungsprüfungen, wie Kriechversuche. The availability of a power plant depends reasonable manner.
In Verbindung mit unserer risikobasierten In- on the availability of its non-redundant
spektionsmethodik (RBI Methodology), einer The LABORELEC RLT methodology is
Risikobewertungsmethode, die ebenfalls in components. Assurance of proper operation structured in a "three level approach" with
diesem Beitrag behandelt wird, kann der of these components, so-called com- the following sections:
Kunde mit dieser Reststandzeit-Methodik das ponents, should be, therefore, the main task
optimale Inspektionsintervall für alle Elemente of a plant Remaining Life Time (RLT) pro- — level 1 : design data collection and opera •
des Prozesses ermitteln, die für den schlei- gramme. The condition of these com- tion history
chenden Qualitätsverlust anfällig sind. Die An-
lagenkomponenten, die nicht von schleichen- ponents can only be assessed by means of a — level 2: operating/maintenance/inspectiou
dem Qualitätsverlust betroffen sind, können RLT methodology. Based on the RLT re- history
nur durch Änderung der Konstruktion, War- sults a proper decision can be made as to
tung oder Betriebsbedingungen verbessert — level 3: scientific approach based on
plant safety and availability for each com-
werden. level 1 and 2 data in combination with
ponent:
quantified material properties.
— maintain in operation as it is,
In accordance with the "three level ap-
— repair, or proach" concept, each section contains a spe-
— replace. cific programme for the condition assessmen t
Ch. Laire of the equipment.
Product Manager "Materials Technology", Taking into account the economic im-
LABORELEC - Laborator}' of the Belgian plications of these three alternatives as well The LABORELEC three level RLT method-
Electricity Industry, Brussels/Belgium. ology, schematically presented in F i g u r e
as the economic, social and environmental
implications of unscheduled outages due to below, can be applied to the following powe r
M. Eyckmans sudden failures, the selection of a proper plant components:
Product Manager "Failure Analysis and Ma- RLT methodology gains in importance. This
terial Assessment in Plants", LABORELEC - — high energy piping,
Laboratory of the Belgian Electricity Industry, methodology should provide the best tech-
nical solution to ensure safe operation of the — boiler tubes, and
Brussels/Belgium.
plant. — boiler high-walled components.

98 VGB PowerTech 10/2001


Condition Assessment

PREPARATION OF A PLANNING
CONCEPT

Plant operations

Inventory of existing
Calculation and conception
Design and construction Visual inspection Review of component Non-destructive testing Destructive testing of
Production, building and (exterior and geometry of materials materials
supervision documents interior - Wall gauge - Surface cracking - Investigations into
Special incidents/events inspections) measure ments test corrosion and
- Measurements of - Volume test deposits
ovality (ultrasonic test, - Determination of
Determination of the systems and - Measurements of radiographyX-ray mechanical-
components relevant for the life expectancy elongations test) technological
- Obstruction of - Investigations into characteristics
elongation the surface - Examinations of
Determination of the actual operating damage
and stress parameters
- Pressure, temperature,
- Incidents, events of damage, fail ure
repair statistics Complex materials testing
- Realized maintenance
replacement of components

Checking the existing conditions; of the


plant facility
by plant history
- n° start / stops (cold - hot)
- service hours
- special incidents

Calculation of theoretical life expectation and degree of exhaustion under creep stress and alternating load conditions

Complex analysis of life expectancy and plant


- Residual life prognosis
- Design changes
- Rehabilitation of components and
- Measures for a perspective-oriented manner of operation/plant technology

Programme for plant rehabilitation and upgrading

Figure 1. The LABORELEC 3-Level RLT methodology.

Level 1: Design Data Collection — For the maintenance part: Three major questions have to be answered
The question raised during an initial ap- - review of component replacement and before starting NDT:
proach is what kind of damage malfunctions repair, and — periodicity of the inspections,
or material failures can occur. - review of component geometry. — where to perform NDT
A first quick scan will separate the critical — For the inspection part: — which technique is most appropriate?
and non-critical items in the process and is - non-destructive testing (NDT) results
based on temperature and wall thickness de- The inspection techniques used depend on
of which the most important are:
the particular component, the location of the
sign data. The establishment of the list of - wall and internal oxide thickness component, the damage modes to be looked
possible critical parts is based on LABORE- measurement by ultrasonic testing, at and the material used. Some of the regu-
LEC's 30-years field experience for similar
- metallographic examination by repli- larly used methods to establish the material
equipment. For the final list the paper will
cation, and condition provide data which can be quanti-
proceed with level two and three.
- stress measurements by strain gauges. fied in analyses whereas others can only indi-
Level 2: O p e r a t i n g / M a i n t e n a n c e — Destructive material testing (DMT) like cate whether a defect is present or not. Ac-
and I n s p e c t i o n H i s t o r y failure analysis, isostress creep testing. cording to Figure 1 the examination methods
Level 2 gives a specific plant history input so with various components of fossil fired
The results of the NDE and DMT provide power stations are correlated.
design data can be completed with operating
one essential input for the component integ-
and maintenance events which are: rity evaluation and life assessment. In the following short overview the NDT
— for the operating part: techniques used on the different boiler com-
Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) ponents can be seen.
- the operating parameters like pressure
Non-destructive testing (NDT) is an essential
and temperature, Destructive Material Testing (DMT)
part of any residual life assessment pro-
- incidents, events of failure and repair gramme. The objective of such assessment is The scatter band of material properties (in
statistics, and to compare the current condition of the ma- particular creep strength) is an important
- condition of the plant facility by terial of a given component with its original source of uncertainty for the calculation of
number of start-ups/shutdowns and condition to define the amount of component the life expenditure. Depending on the first
service hours. deterioration. calculations using standard material data, it

VGB PowerTech 10/2001 99


Condition Assessment VCEi
may therefore be necessary to determine — recalculation of stresses from internal Fatigue Calculations with "Thermstress "
mechanical property values from specimens pressure under static loading and ultra-
of material taken from the actual com- sonic measured wall thickness by our Fatigue only takes place under alternating
ponents. Sampling, however, may not de- software programme "LILCA". Calcu- load conditions. During this load alternation
grade in any way the integrity of the com- lation of metal temperature by oxide three types of alternating stresses can be
ponent. Various sampling methods are used: thickness measurement is also done by registered:
boot samples, trepanned, core samples, the software "LILCA", — mechanical stresses due to change in
through wall trepanning, etc. — recalculation of the stress range under pressure or to changing system stresses,
For some of them subsequent weld repair cyclic loads taking into account start- — thermal stresses due to temperature dif-
may be required. Destructive testing can have ups/shutdowns, by an in-house software ferences through the component wall
the following objectives: programme called "THERMSTRESS", thickness,
— verification of non-destructive testing re- — calculate or estimate creep damage level — these stresses only become significant for
sults (if no defects are found), based on metallographic examination, wall thickness larger than 45 mm, and
— direct (quantitative) assessment of the de- and — stratification due to temperature dif-
gree of damage (structural and mechan- — recommendation of predictive inspection ferences on two opposite spots on the
ical), intervals by the LABORELEC software component.
— determination of component material "INTERVAL".
mechanical properties (to reduce the Remaining Life Assessment
scatter band): creep testing, fatigue test- T h e o r e t i c a l Life Assessment Based and Inspection Interval
On TRD 508
ing, fracture toughness, crack growth rate Recommendations Based on Materia
evaluation, etc. The ageing of the boiler and piping com- Microstructure Investigations
— post failure search for the damage mech- ponents is mainly manifested by three mech-
anisms and propagation depth. anisms : Background
Isostress Creep Testing — creep, One of the main damage mechanisms a f -
Quantitative residual life assessments are — internal and external metal loss, and fecting power plant components is creep
performed using the isostress testing tech- damage. Such damage may occur in different
— thermal fatigue. forms: localized or bulk damage.
nique. Acceleration is obtained by testing at
increased temperatures, applying the repre- Degradation mechanisms other than creep Localized creep damage may become mani •
sentative service stress. and fatigue are less accessible to useful life fest in the form of cracks. The cracking pro-
prediction by calculation. In the USA an ap- cess is characterized by a time-dependen ;
The decision to opt for increased temperature
proach to the creep-fatigue design and re- growth under an approximately constan:
testing instead of increased stress is based on
maining life calculation was developed in the load. As in the case of fatigue cracking, creep
the fact that creep is a thermally-activated
ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, cracking may be characterized by some frac •
process. For ferrous materials, however, the
Section III, Code Case N-47 which is essen- ture mechanics parameters.
maximum temperature is limited to about
tially based on the linear damage summation Bulk damage can manifest itself in two forms
720 °C (by approaching the AC1 tempera-
method. The damage summation method is (Figure 2):
ture).
very popular because it is easy to use and
Test specimens are subjected under tension requires only standard S-N (Wähler) and — intergranular creep cavitation, and
to a stress equal to the service stress of the creep stress rupture curves. — microstructural degradation.
component under investigation. Usually five
to six specimens are exposed to mutually dif- High-temperature Tube Life Prediction with Scope of A p p l i c a t i o n
ferent temperatures, chosen such that creep "LILCA "
The assessment of microstructural damage:
rupture times are invoked in the range of 100 under creep conditions is of special interest
To perform assessments and determine the
to 1000 hours. The secondary creep rate is for the component life assessment. The levels
remaining life of high-temperature boiler tub-
deduced from the recorded strain-time evo- of microstructural degradation or creep cavi-
ing, it is necessary to accurately measure
lution. Time to failure and total elongation tation may be evaluated in terms of remain-
critical tube dimensions and predict the time-
after failures are also determined. Finally the ing life or required inspection intervals.
dependent response of the tube material.
test results are extrapolated, in the co-ordinate
system in (rupture time) versus temperature Life assessment techniques based on metallo-
LABORELEC measures wall and internal
(°Q. graphic methods may be performed destruc-
oxide scale thickness to predict remaining
tively by means of sample extraction, prep-
Level 3: Scientific A p p r o a c h tube life with "LILCA" (LABORELEC In-
aration and microscopic investigation. Alter-
cremental Lifetime Calculation Algorithm)
Based on the information of level 1 and 2, natively, metallographic investigations may
software. Thickness measurements are made
LABORELEC finally calculates the theoreti- be done non-destructively by way of repli-
using focused UT transducers. Steam side
cal remaining life of the component. This can cation.
oxide layer thickness measurements allow
be done by two different scientific approaches: the evaluation of the average metal tempera- There are two major applications of the repli-
— theoretical life time consumption calcu- ture of components by using the material ox- cation technique:
lations mainly based on the TRD 508 rec- idation kinetics. — study of the micro structure (creep cavi-
ommendations, and tation, precipitate spacing, grain size,
"LILCA", with the possibility for input of
— qualitative life time assessment based on external wall loss due to erosion or high-tem- etc.) using an optical or electron micro-
metallographic investigations. perature corrosion, contains algorithms that scope, and
For each of these approaches several in- allows the user to make deterministic esti- — examination and identification of second -
house software tools are used: mates of remaining tube life. phase particles by extraction technique.

100
VCB Assessment

and process parameters and operation and


maintenance history. Fine tuning is sub-
sequently possible by the implementation of
an integrity factor.
The consequence factor is built of four sub •
(b) sidiaries. These are the costs of security, en
vironment, maintenance and production loss
due to down time. Only the highest value is
taken into account for the consequence rank
ing.

(d)
Trend Analysing and Inspection
Interval Modelling
(a) ferrite-perlite structure; (b) carbides precipitation at the grain boundaries;
(c) spheroidization of carbides from pearlite has begun; (d) spheroidization of carbides from pearlite is Trend analysing and inspection interval mod-
finished; (e) dispersed carbides (no ferrous-pearlite structure); (f) carbide coalescence elling is only possible for trending degrada-
tion mechanism such as uniform corrosior
Figure 2. Reference SPRINT SP 249. and erosion, as well as creep and fatigue. For
each of these degradation mechanisms, the
Class A - isolated cavities,
Softened acetate tape
Class B - oriented cavities, Damage Fracture
parameter Action required
Tape applied to
surface and dried Class C - microcracks, and
A None until next major
Class D - macrocracks. scheduled maintenance outage
B Replica test at D
They suggested also corresponding specified intervals f
C Limited service /
actions for each damage stage: until repair ƒ
D Immediate repair C/
— Class A - no remedial actions
required,
Tape removed
with negative — Class B - replica tests at spec-
replica of ified intervals,
surface
— Class C - limited service until
repair, and
— Class D - immediate repair. Exposure time.,
Because of the high conservatism
Figure 3. Description of the replication prin- included into this theory, it is ac- Figure 4. Reference SPRINT SP 492.
ciple (reference SPRINT SP 492). tually used as a monitoring tech-
nique, rather than a life prediction method.
At present, the plastic foil replication tech- LABORELEC also suggested a mixed inspection interval is defined as the remain-
nique is used principally for reproducing sur- method of assessment where creep degrada- ing lifetime determined by a security factor.
face features such as creep cavities, cracks tion and ageing process are taken into ac- At this time LABORELEC uses a statistical
and gross microstructural features. Field ap- count in combination with their repercussions approach for the erosion and corrosior
plication of the carbide extraction replica on the component's remaining life. degradation mechanism. For creep evaluatior
method will require further development we prefer a deterministic approach such as a
work. F i g u r e 3 illustrates the replication sudden death risk analysis method.
The LABORELEC RBI Methodology
principle. In order to obtain accurate results,
a very high surface quality is mandatory.
As for each existing RBI methodology, LA-
Surface oxides as well as decarburized zones BORELEC also started from the basic defini- POF
must be removed prior to replication of the tion of risk as a product of probability and
component surface. consequence of failure. This probability and
consequence for each process item are sche-
Remaining Life Assessment and matically presented in a 5 X 5 risk matrix
Recommended I n s p e c t i o n allowing clear identification of the high,
Neubauer and Webel have published the first medium and low risk items. The aim of this
attempt to correlate the creep life con- risk matrix is to reduce the non-availability
sumption of plant components to cavitation. of the high risk items and to prolong of the
They collected data on steam pipes from nu- inspection intervals of the low risk items
merous German power plants. According to (Figure 5). 1 2 3 4 5
their theory, the creep damage level can be Identification of P r o b a b i l i t y and COF
classified in accordance with the number of Consequence
cavities and their orientation.
LABORELEC uses a^quick scan tool in the Figure 5. Matrix of the probability of failure
Thus, they separated four classes of degrada- first instance for the item probability ranking. (POF) in function of the conse-
tion (Figure 4): This quick scan is based on a mix of design quence of the failure (COF).

10"
VGB PowerTech 10/2001