Transition ductile-fragile des aciers pour gazoducs : Étude quantitative des ruptures fragiles hors plan et corrélation à l’anisotropie de microtexture

Abstract : High toughness of pipeline steels at low temperature is required to avoid catastrophic propagation of brittle crack. The aim of the study is to improve physical understanding and quantitative assessment of the toughness behavior of hot-rolled pipeline steels, focusing on the lower part of the ductile to brittle transition temperature range.The impact toughness of these steels is commonly validated using drop weight tear tests (DWTT), on the basis of fracture surfaces that must exhibit less than 15% of brittle fracture appearance. In thermomechanical control processed steels, brittle out-of-plane cracks such as delamination (which propagates along the rolling plane), and brittle tilted fracture (BTF) along theta-planes (tilted around RD by 40° with respect to rolling plane), have been characterized in the ductile to brittle transition temperature range, for both industrial (DWTT) and laboratory Charpy impact tests. In both cases, as well as in fracture toughness tests, such brittle out-of-plane cracking has been shown to impair the impact toughness.The anisotropy in plastic flow and sensitivity to cleavage fracture has been characterized as a function of temperature, by using tensile tests on specifically designed smooth and notched specimens. From finite element mechanical analysis of these tests, critical cleavage stresses normal to the rolling plane and the theta-plane are considerably lower (around 25%) than for planes normal to the rolling and transverse directions.The anisotropy in critical cleavage stress has been quantitatively correlated to microtexture anisotropy. So-called “potential cleavage facets” have been defined and measured in this study, as regions with unfavorably oriented {100} planes, which are taken as unit crack paths for cleavage propagation. A sample containing 20% of potential cleavage facets had a critical cleavage stress 20% lower than a sample with only 10% of potential cleavage facets.The size and shape of these potential cleavage facets evolve during plastic deformation. Therefore, the critical cleavage stress was found to be affected by plastic strain history. In the case of delamination, potential cleavage facets along the rolling plane were elongated during loading, their area was increased and the corresponding critical cleavage stress decreased by around 30% with respect to the undeformed case. This made delamination cracking easier. Moreover, the presence of a ductile crack at the initiation site of delamination locally modified the stress state and also facilitated delamination occurrence. A criterion has been developed to numerically predict the onset of delamination in tensile and Charpy specimens.Application of this approach to heat-treated and to prestrained specimens eventually showed that it was possible to modify the sensitivity to delamination by strongly modifying the initial microtexture anisotropy.
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Franck Tankoua Yinga. Transition ductile-fragile des aciers pour gazoducs : Étude quantitative des ruptures fragiles hors plan et corrélation à l’anisotropie de microtexture. Mécanique des matériaux [physics.class-ph]. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015ENMP0014⟩. ⟨tel-01212488⟩

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