High energy welding technologies, such as electron beam, have a number of potential benefits including: faster process time, smaller heat affected zone and potentially favourable weld residual stresses. Therefore, they are good candidates for manufacturing complex components for the next generation of nuclear power plants. However, before electron beam can be deployed on a wide scale, further work is required in a number of areas, including how these welds are treated in structural integrity assessments. As an example, the full extent of the effects of complex residual stress (RS) fields, arising from high energy welding technology, on the fracture behaviour of components has not been fully investigated. This understanding is essential for defect tolerance calculations using integrity assessment procedures. In this study, the fracture toughness of austenitic stainless steel 316L plates with various thicknesses (6mm to 25mm), joined by electron beam welding, is evaluated. Residual stresses were measured using non-destructive diffraction and mechanical relief methods (contour method). This is to examine the effect of welding residual stresses on the resistance of the welded component to fracture.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2019|