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Proceedings of PVP2005 2005 ASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Division Conference July 17-21, 2005, Denver, Colorado

Proceedings of PVP2005 2005 ASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Division Conference July 17-21, 2005, Denver, Colorado USA


M. Yetisir yetisirm@aecl.ca Atomic Energy of Canada Limited Chalk River Laboratories, Chalk River, ON, Canada K0J 1J0 R. Donaberger R. Rogge Ron.Donaberger@nrc.gc.ca Ronald.Rogge@nrc.gc.ca Neutron Program for Materials Neutron Program for Materials Research, National Research Council, Research, National Research Council, Chalk River, ON, Canada, K0J 1J0 Chalk River, ON, Canada, K0J 1J0

ABSTRACT Feeder pipes in CANDU reactors are an integral part of the circulating heat transport system, connecting the in-reactor fuel channels with the primary heat transport pipes. The feeder pipes are 1.5 to 3.5 in nominal size and made out of SA-106 Grade B material. A typical CANDU 6 station has 760 feeder pipes, half of which are located at the fuel channel inlet and the other half are at the fuel channel outlet. In one of the CANDU 6 stations, 2 feeder bends were replaced due to through-wall cracks and 6 others were replaced due to partial cracks detected by non-destructive examination techniques. In all cases, cracks were axial in orientation and were either at the inside surface of the bend flanks (approximately 60 from the intrados symmetry plane) or at the outside surface of the bend extrados. Examination of cracked elbows and measurement of residual stresses indicated that residual stress had a significant role in these failures, since the cracks were associated with locations of high residual stress. Hence, a significant effort was spent to measure the distribution and magnitude of residual stresses at feeder pipe bends. Residual stress in feeder bends is inevitably introduced during the bending process and significantly affected by the manufacturing and heat treatment techniques. Among the techniques used, hot-forming, intrados heating (warm-bending) and compression boosting are investigated. In this paper, the effect of the manufacturing process on the residual stresses of pipe bends is discussed. It was found that, among the bend forming techniques used, the intrados heating (warm-bending) technique results in the highest residual stresses.

INTRODUCTION CANDU nuclear reactors are pressurized heavy water reactors based on fuel channel design. A CANDU reactor core consists of 380 to 480 fuel channels. The heavy water coolant, needed to transport the generated heat in the fuel channels, flows in and out of the fuel channels via 1.5 to 3.5 diameter pipes called feeders. The feeder design of a typical CANDU 6 station is illustrated in Figure 1.

Fuel Channels

S-Row Feeders

Figure 1 - CANDU Feeders on One Side of the Reactor Core In one of the CANDU 6 stations, 2 feeder bends were replaced due to through-wall cracks and 6 others were replaced due to partial cracks detected by non-destructive examination techniques. In all cases, cracks were axial in orientation and were either at the inside surface of the bend flanks (approximately 60 from the intrados symmetry plane) or at the outside surface of the bend extrados. All cracks but

CANDU (CANadian Deuterium Uranium) is a registered trademark of AECL.

Copyright 2005 Atomic Energy of Canada.

one were observed at the first bend following the fuel channel end-fitting/feeder connection. The root cause of feeder cracking has not been identified, but suspected to be either stress corrosion cracking, creep-fatigue cracking or a combination of both. The cracked feeder bends have small radius of curvature and large residual stresses. Figure 2 shows the geometric details of the S-row feeders (general location of these feeders are shown in Figure 1), where the feeder bends following fuel channel end-fitting/feeder joint are visible. Examination of cracked feeder bends and measurement of residual stresses indicated that residual stress has a major role in these failures, since the cracks were associated with the location of highest residual stress. The manufacturing and heat treatment techniques used in the production of pipe bends can have a significant impact on residual stresses. In particular, cold or warm1 bending may result in very high residual stresses that are close to the yield strength of the pipe material. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of the manufacturing process on the residual stress patterns in feeder bends. RESIDUAL STRESSES IN PIPE BENDS Because of significant cold work and locally increased yield strength in the bend region, the residual stress may even exceed the yield stress of the (non-cold-worked) base pipe material. Post-bend heat treatment can significantly reduce residual stresses and, hence, the cracking susceptibility of feeder bends.

Common Pipe Bending Techniques The bending process used to manufacture some pipe bends may result in significant residual stresses. For example, the warm-bending process used in the production of some CANDU feeder pipe bends results in residual stresses close to the yield strength of the feeder material. In fact, all discovered cracks (a total of nine cracks in eight bends) were located at the pipe bends and were in the regions of high tensile residual stresses. Pipe bending can be performed in variety of techniques with and without the use of heating. Figure 3 illustrates the most common cold-bending technique (Nayyar, 1992), called the draw bending.
Pressure Die
Rotary Die


(a) Draw Bending

Pressure Die Compression Boost


Rotary Die


(b) Draw Bending with Compression Boost

Figure 3 - Various Pipe Bending Techniques Used in the Cold-Bending Process (from Nayyar, 1992).
Fuel Channels

Feeder Bend


S-Row Feeders

Figure 2 - S-Row feeders (shown also in Figure 1) and Fuel Channel End-fittings.

In this paper, the term Warm Bending refers to the bending process
where the intrados of the bend is torch-heated to cherry-red prior to bending.

In draw bending Figure 3(a), the pipe is clamped to a rotating bending form and drawn past a pressure die, which is usually fixed. The term draw is used because of the propensity of the bend extrados to draw more than with other techniques. This technique is usually applied to pipes with thin walls and for small bend-radius tubes. Heat treatment techniques, such as annealing, normalizing, tempering and stress-relieving can have a significant impact on crystal structure and residual stresses. These techniques are associated with heating the steel to critical temperatures where a change in crystal structure occurs. Normalizing and stress-relieving techniques are used in the manufacture of some CANDU feeders. Normalizing is a process that is used to refine and homogenize the crystal structure that improves material toughness. The process involves heating the material to a temperature above the upper critical temperature to completely transform the crystal structure. With appropriate cooling

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following normalization, residual stresses can be significantly reduced. Stress relieving is a process that is used to reduce residual stresses resulting from the manufacturing processes. It involves heating to a temperature below the lower critical temperature, holding for a while to permit residual stresses to relax out, and then slowly cooling down to room temperature. Stress relieving process is cheaper than the normalization process and typically reduces the residual stresses to 20 to 30% of the non-work-hardened yield stress value. CANDU Feeder Bends A CANDU reactor contains between 760 and 960 feeder pipes. Each feeder pipe contains up to seven bends, either large radius bends with 12- or 15-inch bend radius, or tight radius bends with 3- or 3.75-inch radius bends. Tight radius bends use a bend radius that is 1.5 times the Nominal Pipe Size (NPS). Figure 4 shows the parameters defining bend geometry. Pipe bending becomes increasingly difficult with a reduced r/D ratio, where r is the bend radius and D is the nominal pipe diameter. A recommended lower bound for the r/D ratio is 3. Because of space restrictions, some CANDU feeder bends had to be manufactured with an r/D ratio as small as 1.5. Most of these tight-radius bends have a bend angle of 73. The cracked CANDU feeders were all 2.5 tight-radius bends with r/D = 1.5. Because it is not usually possible to manufacture good quality bend with r/D =1.5 using standard cold-bending techniques, manufacturers use special techniques to bend feeders to the r/D=1.5 specification.
t min

first heated to 1600F and pushed over a horn that expanded and shaped the bend. The horn was tapered and lubricated to facilitate the insertion of the pipe. This procedure gives reasonably consistent wall thickness around and along the bend. In subsequent CANDU plants, the tight-radius bends were fabricated by bending straight pipes to reduce the number of welds in feeder pipes. Because of the tight-radius bending, i.e., r/D = 1.5, manufacturers of CANDU feeder bends used special techniques. One manufacturer used the warmbending technique. The warm-bending technique is a variation of the draw bending technique with the addition of heat where the bend intrados is torch heated to cherry red. Increased material ductility at higher temperatures enabled the manufacturers to bend feeders with r/D=1.5. These bends were not stress-relieved. Another manufacturer used the compression-boost technique. Again, this technique is a variation of the draw bending technique where the feeder pipe was compressed along the axis of the straight section of the pipe (see Figure 3(b). The additional compression boost facilitates the material flow into the bend region, so that the minimum wall thickness requirement is met and excessive flatness at the bend extrados is avoided. Compression-boost bends, except in one CANDU station, were stress-relieved. ASME B&PV Code Requirements for Pipe Bend Geometry Pipe bending results in ovalization of the cross-section at the bend region and thinning of the pipe wall at the bend extrados. Extreme ovality and wall thickness reduction compromises the structural integrity of the pipe bend under pressure and operating loads; hence, the ASME B&PV Code provides guidance on the acceptability criteria of the bends. Figure 4 shows the most important parameters used to define the bend geometry. For nuclear components, ASME Section III Article NB4223.2 specifies the ovality tolerance as unless otherwise justified by the Design Report, the ovality of piping after bending shall not exceed 8%. NB-4223.2 defines bend ovality by
Ovality = Dmax Dmin 100 D0

D max

D min

Section A-A


Figure 4 - Parameters Used to Define Bend Geometry In early CANDU reactors, tight-radius bends were procured as normalized fittings. They were manufactured using the hot-forming technique, followed by a normalization heat treatment. These bends, often called elbows to differentiate them from cold-bent bends, had to be welded on feeder pipes and, hence, required additional welds. Increased numbers of welds were not desirable because of increased cost and installation time. The hot-formed CANDU bends were

where, Do = nominal pipe outside diameter, D min = minimum outside diameter after bending or forming, D max = maximum outside diameter after bending or forming, The applicable ASME code sections for allowable bend wall thickness are specified by ASME Section III Article NB-3642.1 Pipe Bends. Article NB-3642.1 states that the wall

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thickness for pipe bends shall not be less than the minimum wall thickness required for a straight pipe. CANDU feeders 2 are made out of ASME SA-106 Grade B material. ASME specifications for ASME SA-106 material requires that the minimum wall thickness at any point shall not be more than 12.5% under the nominal wall thickness specified, i.e., tmin > 0.875tnom. In feeder bends, the minimum wall thickness, tmin, is usually at the feeder extrados. ASME requirements provide reasonable assurance that the pipe bends are of acceptable quality. CANDU feeder bends are manufactured to ASME specifications. RESIDUAL STRESS MEASUREMENTS The neutron diffraction technique is used to measure residual stresses on various feeder bends. Other residual stress measurement techniques, such as X-rays and hole-drilling techniques were considered, but then ruled out. The X-ray technique could only provide residual stress measurements on the component surface with 5 to 10 m penetration depth. The hole-drilling technique is destructive and its application was not straightforward, because the successively drilled holes result in a change in the residual stress field. For the purpose of this study, it was clear that the neutron diffraction technique was the best tool for residual stress measurements. The measurement technique and measurement results are summarized below. Residual Stress Measurements Using Neutron Diffraction Residual stresses were measured at the neutron diffraction facility of the National Research Council of Canada at Chalk River. The neutron diffraction technique takes advantage of the ability of neutrons to penetrate deep into the material to non-destructively measure through-wall residual stresses. The thermal neutrons needed for the measurements are generated at AECLs NRU reactor. Typical measurements are made in volume elements in the order of 1 mm3, with typical precisions of 10 to 20 MPa. A typical measurement setup, i.e., a diffractometer, is shown in Figure 5. The principle of the residual stress measurements using neutron diffraction is that the diffracted neutrons from a stressed component carry information about the stress state of the component. The measurement technique makes use of Braggs law. Thermal neutrons with characteristic wavelength diffract off the lattice planes of the crystallites that form the material. According to Braggs law, the angle, , at which the neutrons scatter depends upon and the spacing between the lattice planes d as follows:

= 2d sin() .
where, is the characteristic wavelength of neutrons and is the scatter angle. When a material is subjected to a force, the distance between the lattice planes will either decrease for a compressive force, or increase for a tensile force. The lattice strain, , is the fractional change in lattice spacing with respect to the unstressed lattice spacing, do as

= do

d do

It follows from this definition that a material under compression has a negative strain value, and a positive value for tension. It is evident from Braggs law, that the change in the lattice spacing will be reflected in a change of the scattering angle, from which the strain can be calculated directly:

sin( o ) 1. sin()

Figure 5 - Photograph of a CANDU Feeder Section Oriented for Axial Strain Measurements on a Neutron Diffractometer at NRU, Chalk River.
Neutrons can penetrate deep into materials. Strain measurements can therefore be obtained throughout the sample volume. The instrumental gauge volume, i.e., the intersection between the incident beam volume and the scattered beam volume, is positioned to the locations of interest by moving the sample using linear translation and rotary stages. By measuring three strain components at a given location, (e.g., radial, axial and hoop for a cylinder), the residual stress

ASME Section II A SA-106, Specification For Seamless Carbon Steel Pipe For High-Temperature Service, SA-106

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components, R, A and H, can be calculated using the Generalized Hookes Law (Higdon et al. 1976),

E R + ( R + A + H ) , 1 2 1 + E A + ( R + A + H ) , 1 2 1 + E H + ( R + A + H ) . 1 2 1 +

[ [ [

] ] ]

Where subscripts R, A and H indicate stress or strain components in the Radial, Axial, and Hoop directions, respectively. E is Young' modulus and is the Poisson ratio. s Effect of Bending Process on Residual Stresses The effect of the bending technique is investigated by comparing the residual stresses of various feeder bends manufactured using three different bending techniques. A circumferential scan of the ID hoop residual stress component at the bend mid-section is plotted in Figure 6. The figure includes various hot-formed, compression-boosted and warm-bent feeder bends. To make the comparison meaningful, all bends were 2.5 in nominal diameter and have r/D ratios equal to 1.5.
Region of Axial Cracks

location of the maximum tensile hoop stress is at about 45 from the intrados. This is consistent with the field experience where all but one cracked feeder bends were warm-bent and the crack locations were 30 to 60 from the intrados. One feeder bend, also a warm-bent tight-radius bend, cracked at the OD surface of the bend extrados. This location also happens to be the location of the second highest tensile residual hoop stress. In addition to the circumferential scans, through-wall measurements were obtained at 60 from the intrados. Figure 7 shows the through-wall measurements at this location. As with the circumferential-scan, the through-wall scan indicates that the warm-bending process results in the highest ID hoop stresses. It was observed that the measured hoop stresses typically varied linearly from a compressive state at the OD surface to a tensile state at the ID surface or vice versa. This indicates that the hoop stresses are affected by the cross-sectional deformation of the pipe, i.e., ovality. The hoops stresses for warm-bent feeder bends appear to be higher in Figure 7 as compared to Figure 6. In Figure 7, the bounding data at high values came from a spare bend. For this bend a circumferential scan was not performed and, as a result, it is not shown in Figure 6. The circumferential scan for that bend is expected to follow the trends in Figure 6 with a higher peak at the 45-60 region.

Figure 6 - Effect of Feeder Bend Manufacturing Techniques on Residual Stress (circumferential scan) In Figure 6, the x-axis is the angle from the bend intrados, where 0 corresponds to the intrados and 180 corresponds to the extrados. The y-axis is the hoop component of the residual stress, which was measured 1 mm from the ID surface. This plot indicates that the warm-bending process results in the highest ID hoop stresses. For the warm-bending technique, the

Figure 7 - Effect of Feeder Bend Manufacturing Techniques on Residual Stress (through-wall scan) Effect of Stress Relieving on Residual Stresses Two feeder bends, manufactured using the compression-boost technique, were used to obtain the effect of stress-relieving on residual stress. One elbow was in the as-bent condition following the bending process, while the

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other was in the as-bent condition with subsequent stress-relieving heat treatment. Residual stress measurements were taken at the mid-bend cross-section. In that cross-section, a set of circumferential measurements was taken at 15 intervals. Measurements started at 30 from the intrados and ended at 90 from the intrados, inclusive. At every measurement location, axial, hoop and radial components of residual stresses were measured 1 mm from the ID and OD surfaces as well as at the mid-wall location. In addition, a detailed through-wall measurement was taken at the 60 location (angle measured from the intrados). After the circumferential scan of the as-bent feeder elbow, the maximum hoop stress was confirmed to be near the inner surface, 60o from the intrados, as in the warm-bent feeders. The through-thickness scan at this location exhibits values of residual hoop stresses that are less than 30% of the yield stress of the material at all locations studied (yellow markers in Figure 8). On heat treatment, hoop stresses at all circumferential locations were reduced to practically zero, within the uncertainty of measurement, which is 30 MPa (green markers in Figure 8). Axial stresses (original values up to 200 MPa) were also observed to reduce to very small values as a result of heat treatment.

In the figure, the location of the maximum wall thinning (at the extrados) and maximum wall thickening (at the intrados) is shown. The pattern of the grid lines indicates a non-symmetric plastic deformation with one end of the feeder bend showing larger shear deformation than the other end. The amount of plastic deformation affects the bends ability to further deform plastically without cracking. To quantify the plastic deformation of the piping material, permanently etched grid lines were measured after bending. Using the change in the dimensions of the grid lines, percent plastic deformations in the axial direction were calculated and mapped on the feeder bend geometry in Figure 10.

Figure 9 - Deformation of Feeder Bend as Illustrated with Grid Lines.

Figure 8 - Effect of Heat Treatment on Residual Stress Plastic Deformation and Wall Thickness To quantify the amount of plastic deformation and wall thinning occurring during the manufacturing process, a feeder pipe was permanently gridded using a numerically controlled laser welder prior to bending. The bent pipe is shown in Figure 9.

Figure 10 - Measured Percent Plastic Strains As seen in Figure 10, the maximum axial plastic strain is larger than 30%, and close to 35%. Assuming, uniform plastic deformation at the bend extrados, the axial plastic deformation can be estimated with a simple model as shown in Figure 11. Using the formula in this figure, the average axial plastic strain

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at the bend extrados, axial, for a tight-radius bend (R/D=1.5) is 33%, which is in good agreement with the measured data.

L = R L + L = R + D 2

L =


D 2 1D = 2R


L+ L

Figure 11 - Schematic of a Feeder Bend Illustrating the Axial Plastic Strain at the Extrados The change in wall thickness is also quantified by measuring wall thickness at the grid points before and after bending. The change in wall thickness is shown in Figure 12. The measured wall thinning of 0.66 mm (9.5% nominal thickness) is a typical maximum reduction in wall thickness and meets the ASME wall-thickness requirement.

residual stress is found to be approximately 45 from the bend intrados. This is consistent with the field observation, where all feeder bends but one cracked in the region 30 to 60 from the intrados. One feeder bend cracked at the extrados OD surface, which was the region of second highest tensile residual stress. Also, consistent with the measurements, all cracked feeder bends were warm-bent. These measurements showed the significant effect of the manufacturing process and the resultant residual stresses on feeder bend cracking. It should be noted here that the residual stress is not the only stressor in feeder cracking, but the best known stressor so far. The fact that only one CANDU station out of seven with warm-bent feeder bends had cracked feeder bends indicates that there are other stressors, such as chemistry, local material properties, service-stress, age, etc., contributing to cracking. Measurements with a stress-relieved feeder bend indicated that stress relieving was effective in reducing residual stress levels. For replacement feeder bends and future CANDU designs, it is recommended that tight-radius feeder bends to be manufactured using the compression-boost technique and to be stress-relieved following bending. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The presented work was part of an R&D work package funded by the CANDU Owners Group. The contribution and the permission of utilities to publish this paper is deeply appreciated. REFERENCES Nayyar, M.L., 1992, Piping handbook, Sixth Edition, McGraw-Hill Inc. Higdon, A., Ohlsen, E.H., Stles, W.B., Weese, J.A., and Riley, W.F., 1976, Mechanics of Materials, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Location of maximum thinning (0.66 mm)

Location of maximum thickening (1.96 mm)

Figure 12 - Measured Wall Thickness Change in a Feeder Bend CONCLUSIONS As part of the failure investigation of cracked feeder bends, residual stresses are quantified using neutron diffraction technique. Measurements indicated that, among the various manufacturing techniques used, the warm-bending technique resulted in the highest residual stress. The compression-boost technique resulted in significantly less residual stresses when compared to the warm-bent bends of the same geometry. For warm-bent feeders, the location of the maximum tensile

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