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Title: Low Frequency Phased Array Techniques for Crack Detection in Cast Austenitic Piping Welds: A Feasibility Study

Abstract

Studies conducted at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington have focused on developing and evaluating the reliability of nondestructive testing (NDT) approaches for coarse-grained stainless steel reactor components. The objective of this work is to provide information to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the utility, effectiveness and limitation of NDT techniques as related to inservice testing of primary system piping components in pressurized water reactors. We examined cast stainless steel pipe specimens containing thermal and mechanical fatigue cracks located close to the weld roots and having inner and outer diameter surface geometrical conditions that simulate several water reactor primary piping configurations. In addition, segments of vintage centrifugally cast piping were examined to characterize the inherent acoustic noise and scattering caused by grain structures and to determine the consistency of ultrasonic responses when propagating through differing microstructures. Advanced ultrasonic phased array techniques were applied from the outside surface of these specimens using automated scanning devices and water coupling. The phased array approach was implemented with a modified instrument operating at low frequencies, and composite volumetric images of the specimens were generated. Results from laboratory studies for assessing crack detection effectiveness in cast stainless steel asmore » a function of frequency are discussed in this paper.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
917565
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-53916
Journal ID: ISSN 0025-5327; MAEVAD; 401001060; TRN: US0805074
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Materials Evaluation, 65(1):55-61; Journal Volume: 65; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ACOUSTICS; DETECTION; NONDESTRUCTIVE TESTING; PWR TYPE REACTORS; REACTOR COMPONENTS; RELIABILITY; SCATTERING; STAINLESS STEELS; TESTING; WATER; Cast Stainless Steel; Phased Array; Low Frequency

Citation Formats

Anderson, Michael T., Cumblidge, Stephen E., and Doctor, Steven R.. Low Frequency Phased Array Techniques for Crack Detection in Cast Austenitic Piping Welds: A Feasibility Study. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Anderson, Michael T., Cumblidge, Stephen E., & Doctor, Steven R.. Low Frequency Phased Array Techniques for Crack Detection in Cast Austenitic Piping Welds: A Feasibility Study. United States.
Anderson, Michael T., Cumblidge, Stephen E., and Doctor, Steven R.. Mon . "Low Frequency Phased Array Techniques for Crack Detection in Cast Austenitic Piping Welds: A Feasibility Study". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_917565,
title = {Low Frequency Phased Array Techniques for Crack Detection in Cast Austenitic Piping Welds: A Feasibility Study},
author = {Anderson, Michael T. and Cumblidge, Stephen E. and Doctor, Steven R.},
abstractNote = {Studies conducted at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington have focused on developing and evaluating the reliability of nondestructive testing (NDT) approaches for coarse-grained stainless steel reactor components. The objective of this work is to provide information to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the utility, effectiveness and limitation of NDT techniques as related to inservice testing of primary system piping components in pressurized water reactors. We examined cast stainless steel pipe specimens containing thermal and mechanical fatigue cracks located close to the weld roots and having inner and outer diameter surface geometrical conditions that simulate several water reactor primary piping configurations. In addition, segments of vintage centrifugally cast piping were examined to characterize the inherent acoustic noise and scattering caused by grain structures and to determine the consistency of ultrasonic responses when propagating through differing microstructures. Advanced ultrasonic phased array techniques were applied from the outside surface of these specimens using automated scanning devices and water coupling. The phased array approach was implemented with a modified instrument operating at low frequencies, and composite volumetric images of the specimens were generated. Results from laboratory studies for assessing crack detection effectiveness in cast stainless steel as a function of frequency are discussed in this paper.},
doi = {},
journal = {Materials Evaluation, 65(1):55-61},
number = 1,
volume = 65,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • As part of a multi-year program funded by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) to address nondestructive examination (NDE) reliability of inservice inspection (ISI) programs, studies conducted at the Pacific N¬orthwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, have focused on assessing novel NDE approaches for the inspection of coarse-grained, cast stainless steel reactor components. The primary objective of this work is to provide information to the US NRC on the utility, effec¬tiveness and reliability of ultrasonic testing (UT) as related to the ISI of primary piping components in US commercial nuclear power plants. This paper describes progress, recentmore » developments and results from an assessment of a portion of the work relating to the ultrasonic low frequency phased array inspection technique. Westinghouse Owner’s Group (WOG) cast stainless steel pipe segments with thermal and mechanical fatigue cracks, PNNL samples containing thermal fatigue cracks and several blank vintage specimens having very coarse grains that are representative of early centrifugally cast piping installed in PWRs, were used for assessing the inspection method. The phased array approach was implemented using an R/D Tech Tomoscan III system operating at 1.0 MHz and 500 kHz, providing composite volumetric images of the samples. Several dual, transmit-receive, custom designed low-frequency arrays were employed in laboratory trials. Results from laboratory studies for assessing detection, localization and length sizing effectiveness are discussed.« less
  • Studies at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, are being conducted to evaluate nondestructive examination (NDE) approaches for inspecting coarse-grained, austenitic stainless steel reactor components. The work provides information to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the utility, effectiveness, limitations, and reliability of advanced inspection techniques for application on safety-related components in commercial nuclear power plants. This paper describes results from recent assessments using a low-frequency phased-array methodology for detecting cracks in cast austenitic piping welds. Piping specimens that contain thermal and mechanical fatigue cracks located adjacent to welds were examined. The specimens have surfacemore » geometrical conditions and weld features that simulate portions of primary piping systems in many U.S. pressurized water reactors (PWRs). In addition, segments of vintage centrifugally cast piping were examined to assess inherent acoustic noise and scattering due to grain structures and determine consistency of ultrasonic (UT) responses from varied circumferential locations. The phased-array UT methods were applied from the outside surface of the specimens using automated scanning devices and water coupling, and employed a modified instrument operating between 500 kHz and 1.0 MHz. Composite volumetric images of the specimens were generated. Results from laboratory studies for assessing crack detection and sizing effectiveness are discussed, including acoustic parameters observed in centrifugally cast piping base materials.« less
  • Research is being conducted for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to assess the effectiveness and reliability of advanced nondestructive examination (NDE) methods for the inspection of light water reactor (LWR) components and challenging material/component configurations. This study assessed the effectiveness of far-side inspections on wrought stainless steel piping with austenitic welds, as found in thin-walled, boiling water reactor (BWR) component configurations, for the detection and characterization of intergranular stress corrosion cracks (IGSCC).
  • Research is being conducted for the NRC at PNNL to assess the effectiveness and reliability of advanced NDE methods for the inspection of LWR components. The scope of this research encompasses primary system pressure boundary materials including cast austenitic stainless steels (CASS), dissimilar metal welds (DMWs), piping with corrosion-resistant cladding, weld overlays, and far-side examinations of austenitic piping welds. A primary objective of this work is to evaluate various NDE methods to assess their ability to detect, localize, and size cracks in coarse-grained steel components. This interim technical letter report (TLR) provides a synopsis of recent investigations at PNNL aimedmore » at evaluating the capabilities of phased-array (PA) ultrasonic testing (UT) methods as applied to the inspection of CASS welds in nuclear reactor piping. A description of progress, recent developments and interim results are provided.« less
  • Research is being conducted for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to assess the effectiveness and reliability of advanced nondestructive examination (NDE) methods for the inspection of light water reactor (LWR) components. A primary objective of this work is to evaluate various NDE methods to assess their ability to detect, localize, and size cracks in coarse-grained steel components. This particular study focused on the evaluation of custom-designed, low-frequency (500 kHz) phased-array (PA) probes for examining welds in thick-section cast austenitic stainless steel (CASS) piping. In addition, research was conducted to observe ultrasonic soundmore » field propagation effects from known coarse-grained microstructures found in parent CASS material. The study was conducted on a variety of thick-wall, coarse-grained CASS specimens that were previously inspected by an older generation 500-kHz PA-UT probe and acquisition instrument configuration. This comparative study describes the impact of the new PA probe design on flaw detection and sizing in a low signal-to-noise environment. The set of Pressurized Water Reactor Owners Group (PWROG) CASS specimens examined in this study are greater than 50.8-mm (2.0-in.) thick with documented flaws and microstructures. These specimens are on loan to PNNL from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) NDE Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The flaws contained within these specimens are thermal fatigue cracks (TFC) or mechanical fatigue cracks (MFC) and range from 13% to 42% in through-wall extent. In addition, ultrasonic signal continuity was evaluated on two CASS parent material ring sections by examining the edge-of-pipe response (corner geometry) for regions of signal loss.« less