Caractérisation métallurgique et modélisation de la tenue en fluage à 550°C des liaisons soudées en acier Grade 92

Abstract : In the framework of the development of Generation IV nuclear power plants, ASME Grade 92 ferritic-martensitic steel is a candidate material for components subjected to long-term creep at high temperature. The aim of this study is to characterize the microstructure of Grade 92 butt welded joints and to model their creep behavior at 550 °C. Two filler rods were used for this study.The microstructure of the different weld regions was quantitatively characterized. In order to understand the weaker mechanical properties of the ICHAZ compared to the other regions of the welded joint, the microstructures of the base metal and the ICHAZ were compared at different scales (SEM, EBSD, TEM on thin foils and extractive replicas). No significant difference regarding microtexture, sub-structure and precipitation state was highlighted between both microstructures. The origin of the weaker resistance of the ICHAZ to viscoplastic flow is still not fully understood. A softer zone was found in the base metal close to the ICHAZ, yet with finer subgrains than the base metal,. It was supposed to be a thermomechanically-affected zone (TMAZ).At high temperatures and low stress levels, Grade 92 welded joints may be sensitive to type IV cracking, which occurs in the intercritical heat affected zone (ICHAZ). Creep tests conducted at 550 °C on cross-weld specimens revealed that fracture takes place in the ICHAZ, even for short-term creep tests (i.e., lifetime lower than 1000h).In order to model the creep behavior of the welded joint, viscoplastic constitutive equations for the different regions of the weld assembly were required. The viscoplastic behavior of the base metal, weld metal and of the ICHAZ were modeled using a phenomenological approach. The viscoplastic flow behavior of the weld metal and of the ICHAZ was experimentally determined (i) from tensile tests with displacement field measurements and (ii) from creep tests on tensile bars notched in the region of interest. An alternative method was also used to determine the creep behavior of the ICHAZ. It consists in reproducing the microstructure of this region by a thermal treatment and in carrying out creep tests on notched specimens cut from the heat-treated blanks. The parameters of constitutive equations (power-law flow rule together with a von Mises equivalent stress formulation and isotropic hardening according to a Voce-type evolutionary equation) were then fitted separately for the different zones of the welded joint.Constraint effects related to differences in mechanical properties between the different regions were quantitatively studied trough modeling of creep tests on the cross-weld specimens. For the stress levels experimentally considered, the contrast in strength between the different regions induces an increase in stress triaxiality in the softer zone (i.e. the ICHAZ) together with strain localization.Keywords: Creep, welded joint, Grade 92 steel.
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Charlotte Kalck. Caractérisation métallurgique et modélisation de la tenue en fluage à 550°C des liaisons soudées en acier Grade 92. Autre. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012ENMP0091⟩. ⟨pastel-00821830⟩

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