Residual stress driven creep cracking in AISI Type 316 stainless steel

Turskia, M.; Bouchard, P. J.; Steuwera, A. and Withers, P. J. (2008). Residual stress driven creep cracking in AISI Type 316 stainless steel. Acta Materialia, 56(14) pp. 3598–3612.



Specially designed AISI Type 316H austenitic stainless steel 25 mm thick compact tension specimens have been plastically deformed to produce significant tensile hydrostatic residual stresses at the notch root at mid-thickness. These specimens were thermally exposed at 550 °C for 4500 hours in order to study elevated temperature creep relaxation of residual stress and the development of reheat cracking creep damage. Residual strains within the specimens were measured using diffraction techniques before and after thermal exposure. A three-dimensional finite element model was developed both to predict the residual stress within the specimens before and after thermal exposure. No reheat cracking was found near surface, but due to the reduced creep ductility with increasing hydrostatic stress, significant creep cavitation was found mid-thickness. A previously developed creep damage model was applied to predict the onset of reheat cracking. Good correlation has been found between measurements and finite element predictions of strain and stress before and after thermal exposure. The extent of creep damage has also been assessed through destructive examination, providing validation for the creep damage prediction model.

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