Study of creep cavitation in stainless steel weldment

Jazaeri, H.; Bouchard, P. J.; Hutchings, Michael and Lindner, P. (2014). Study of creep cavitation in stainless steel weldment. Materials Science and Technology, 30(1) pp. 38–42.



A study of creep cavities near reheat cracking in AISI Type 316H austenitic stainless steel headers, removed from prolonged high temperature operation in nuclear power plants, is reported. It is shown how application of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), cryogenic fractography and small angle neutron scattering (SANS) can be applied, in a complementary way, to observe and quantify creep cavitation. Creep cavities in the vicinity of the crack are found to be mainly surrounding inter-granular carbides. Trends in the size and area fraction of creep cavities relative to the crack path are quantified using optimised metallography. The SANS technique is found to be a very suitable method of quantifying creep cavitation within the size range up to 600 nm averaged over a larger gauge volume. It is shown that the cavity size distribution peaks in the region 100–300 nm, and this correlates closely with the quantitative SEM observations.

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