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Code Acceptance of Overlay Repair of Socket Weld

Failures
Technical Assessment

1003165
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Code Acceptance of Overlay Repair of Socket Weld Failures

1003165
Technical Assessment, December 2001

EPRI Project Manager


Greg Frederick

RRAC Coordinator
Mike Sullivan, PG&E

EPRI-RRAC 1300 W.T. Harris Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28262 PO Box 217097, Charlotte, NC 28221 USA
704.547.6100 askepri@epri.com www.epri.com

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CITATIONS
This document was prepared by
EPRI, Repair and Replacement Application Center
1300 W.T. Harris Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28262
Principal Investigator
G. Frederick
Pacific Gas & Electric
3400 Crow Canyon Rd.
San Ramon, CA 94583-1308
Principal Investigator
Mike Sullivan
This document describes research sponsored by EPRI, Repair and Replacement Application
Center.
The publication is a corporate document that should be cited in the literature in the following
manner:
Code Acceptance of Overlay Repair of Socket Weld Failures, EPRI-RRAC, Charlotte, NC: 2001.
1003165.

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SUMMARY
Failures of small bore piping connections (2-inch and smaller) continue to occur frequently at
nuclear power plants in the United States, resulting in degraded plant systems and unscheduled
plant downtime. Fatigue-related failures are generally detected as small cracks or leaks but, in
many cases, the leak locations are not isolable from the primary reactor coolant system, resulting
in extended outages. Outages associated with fatigue failures have resulted in shut downs as
long as 7 days with lost revenue costs exceeding $300K per day.
To reduce costs associated with these common failures of small bore piping and fittings, EPRI
has conducted several studies to improve socket weld design, fabrication practices and repair
applications to address high cycle fatigue. One of the options evaluated was an overlay repair of
the leaking connections which was intended to extend the life of a failed connection and allow
replacement to be scheduled during a routine outage. Preliminary results indicating that seal
welding and overlay weld repairs can provide a fatigue life equal to the original 1:1 code weld
geometry. As a result, Code Case N-XXX, Alternative Rules for Repair of Class 1,2, and 3
Socket Welded Connections was drafted to support the on-line repair of leaking socket welded
connections.
The goal of this program is to support the Code Case to permit the use of this repair technology
for on-line repairs of leaking socket welds in operating nuclear plants, including high cycle
fatigue and MIC. To validate the repair technology a series of mockup configurations
representative of plant components will be tested. The mockup configurations will include a
range of socket weld pipe diameters, materials and initial failure modes to substantiate the repair
approach. The purpose of the test matrix is to provide experimental confirmation that an overlay
repair would allow the socket weld to remain in service or allow replacement at a scheduled
outage.
An ASME task group has been established to review the Code Case and test matrix. The latest
revision of the Code Case, test matrix and preliminary results are included in this progress report.
The final report with all test results, conclusions and Position Paper will be completed in the
early 2002.

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CONTENTS
1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................... 1-1
2 TEST PROGRAM ................................................................................... 2-1
Test Matrix.............................................................................................................. 2-1
Test Procedures ..................................................................................................... 2-2
Shaker Table Assembly .................................................................................... 2-3

3 TEST RESULTS ..................................................................................... 3-1


A APPENDIX: CODE CASE..................................................................... A-1

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1
INTRODUCTION
Failures of small bore piping connections (2-inch and smaller) continue to occur frequently at
nuclear power plants in the United States, resulting in degraded plant systems and unscheduled
plant downtime. Fatigue-related failures are generally detected as small cracks or leaks but, in
many cases, the leak locations are not isolable from the primary reactor coolant system, resulting
in extended outages. Outages associated with fatigue failures have resulted in shut downs as
long as 7 days with lost revenue costs exceeding $300K per day.
To reduce costs associated with these common failures of small bore piping and fittings, EPRI
has conducted several studies to improve socket weld design, fabrication practices and repair
applications to address high cycle fatigue. One of the options evaluated was an overlay repair of
the leaking connections which was intended to extend the life of a failed connection and allow
replacement to be scheduled during a routine outage. Preliminary results indicating that seal
welding and overlay weld repairs can provide a fatigue life equal to the original 1:1 code weld
geometry. As a result, Code Case N-XXX, Alternative Rules for Repair of Class 1,2, and 3
Socket Welded Connections was drafted to support the on-line repair of leaking socket welded
connections.
The goal of this program is to support the Code Case to permit the use of this repair technology
for on-line repairs of leaking socket welds in operating nuclear plants, including high cycle
fatigue and MIC. To validate the repair technology a series of mockup configurations
representative of plant components will be tested. The mockup configurations will include a
range of socket weld pipe diameters, materials and initial failure modes to substantiate the repair
approach. The purpose of the test matrix is to provide experimental confirmation that an overlay
repair would allow the socket weld to remain in service or allow replacement at a scheduled
outage.
An ASME task group has been established to review the Code Case and test matrix. The latest
revision of the Code Case, test matrix and preliminary results are included in this progress report.
The final report with all test results, conclusions and Position Paper will be completed in the
early 2002. The test procedures and test matrix are documented in Section 2, Preliminary
Results are documented in Section 3 and the draft Code Case is included in Appendix A. The
final report with all test results, conclusions and Position Paper will be completed in the early
2002.

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2
TEST PROGRAM
The test program is divided into two sections; 1) Test Matrix and 2)Test Procedures.
Test Matrix
A test matrix was outlined by the ASME task group formed to support the Code Case on overlay
weld repair. The test matrix was to include a range of pipe sizes, materials and failure modes to
assure the repair technology would cover most failures in a power plant. The group elected to
test common nominal pipe sizes (3/4-inch (1.91 cm) and 2-inch (5.08 cm) NPS) and typical
materials (stainless steel and carbon steel).
A test matrix consisted of standard equal leg (1:1) socket welds fabricated from Schedule 80
piping and standard pipe to pipe couplers. Loading amplitudes were selected based on fatigue
data from prior socket weld fatigue tests, and desired failure modes (toe and root failure modes).
The final test matrix is shown in Table 2-1.
Table 2-1. Proposed Test Matrix for Socket Weld Overlay Code Case
Base Material

Size

Test Specimens and Stress Conditions


Original Crack
Stress Range
Location

Number of
Specimens

Toe

High
Low

3
3

Root

High
Low

3
3

Toe

High
Low

2
2

Root

High
Low

2
2

Toe

High
Low

3
3

Root

High
Low

3
3

Stainless Steel

Carbon Steel

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Test Procedures
The high cycle fatigue testing of socket welds has been developed over the past few years at
PG&E to accommodate typical socket weld configurations. The testing method is displacement
controlled, peak-to-peak, with the specimens vertically cantilevered on a shaker table as seen in
Figure 2-1. Each set of socket weld specimens is bolted to the shaker table and shaken
simultaneously near their resonant frequencies to produce the desired stress amplitudes and
cycles per Table 2-1. A typical caniliver specimen is shown in Figure 2-2.
The test matrix consisted of standard equal leg (1:1) socket welds fabricated from common pipe
sizes and diameters. The specimens are processed on the Shaker Table Assembly until they fail.
The socket weld connections are processed at various stress ranges to promote through-wall toe
and root crack failures. The failed specimens are seal welded and overlay repaired in accordance
with the proposed Code Case (Appendix A). The leaks will be peened, with water in the pipe at
pressure, to allow a seal weld to be applied. Most of the specimens will be overlay repaired
while the pipe is filled with water and pressurized. Select specimens will be repaired without
water backing. The weld overlay will be applied in accordance to the dimensions illustrated in
the Code Case.
The overlay design governed by the Code Case applies a sufficient reinforcement to cover the
possibility of either a toe or a root failure. The overlay design adds 0.77tn (tn = pipe wall
thickness) to the weld throat across the entire profile, from the pipe side toe to the fitting side toe.
The thickness is measured from the seal weld and not the existing toe. The weld is applied by
shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) to simulate the most likely welding process that would be
used for in-line repair in a power plant.
The overlaid specimens are again processed on the Shaker Table Assembly until failure or until
the specimen exceeds the original number of cycles to failure (run-out). The repaired specimens
will be tested at a high stress range (failure in <10 6 cycles) and a low stress range (failure in >10 7
cycles).

Figure 2-1. Shaker Table Assembly

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(14.25-in.)
Test Weld

(6.5-in.)

Figure 2-2. Test Specimen Details

Shaker Table Assembly


Different load amplitudes can be applied to different samples in the same test by fine-tuning the
specimen natural frequencies relative to the shaker table excitation frequency. The shaker table
typically operates at 100-110 Hz and the test specimens had natural frequencies that were
nominally 4-8 Hz lower than the excitation frequency. By adding or subtracting small masses,
such as nuts and washers, the frequencies of the test specimens were moved enough off
resonance to adjust each individual response acceleration.
The specimen are instrumented with an accelerometer and a pressure gauge, and are monitored
continuously during testing. The specimens were pressurized with air to a moderate pressure of
approximately 50 psig (344.75 kPa). Failure of a specimen is indicated when depressurization
occurres, the specimen are removed from the table at the next convenient test stoppage point, and
the testing is resumed with the remaining specimens.
Figure 2-3 illustrates the actual test apparatus with all monitroing equipment attached. The tubes
and wires are leads for the strain gages and pressure transducers, which were relayed to the test
control computer (right side of figure). The desired stress level for each test specimen was
precalculated as a top mass acceleration and was adjusted to produce a particular failure modes
(toe or root failure). The shaker table amplitude was computer-controlled to achieve a preset
accelerometer amplitude on one of the mounted samples. The accelerometer amplitude is
recorded for all samples and is used to determine the tested stress amplitude for each specimen.

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Figure 2-3. Test Apparatus with test control computer on right)

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3
TEST RESULTS
A number of the overlay test specimens from the test matrix shown in Table 2-1 were tested in
accordance to the test procdures in Section 2. The status of the test matrix is documented in
Table 3-1 and the preliminary results are shown in Figure 3-1 for 2-in. stainless steel, Figure 3-2
for 2-inch carbon steel and Figure 3-3 for -inch stainless steel. At this time, additional toe
failures are needed to complete the original test matrix.
Further evaluation of the test specimens will be conducted once the entire test matrix has been
completed. Each specimen will be compared to the original fatigue life and metallographically
evaluated to determine failure mode (i.e. crack initiation site and crack extension). Results will
determine if the weld overlay repair process was successful in restoring or improving the original
fatigue strength of the specimen.
At the completion of the entire test matrix and failure analyses a final report with all test results,
conclusions and Position Paper will be completed. The expected completion date is March
2002. The position paper will be presented to the ASME task group for review at that time.

Table 3-1 Socket Weld Test Matrix Status


Stress Range

Completed

Base Material

Size

Stainless Steel

Toe

High
Low

3
3

2
0

Root

High
Low

3
3

2
5

Toe

High
Low

2
2

1
2

Root

High
Low

2
2

3
2

Toe

High
Low

3
3

0
0

Root

High
Low

3
3

2
4

Carbon Steel

Original Crack
Location

3-1

Number of
Specimens

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2" Stainless Steel Socket Welded Specimens


Weld Overlays are solid symbols; Original cracked socket welds are open symbols

100000

Higuchi
B7-2SS-5
B7-2SS-6
B7-2SS-7
B7-2SS-2
B7-2SS-3
B7-2SS-4

Stress Amplitude (psi)

6rr
3tr
2

B7-2SS-8

2r>

1tt

B7-2SS-9
6r>

5rt

6
9

10000
5

9rr
8rr

B7-2SS-3-wor

7rr
4r>

B7-2SS-5-wor
B7-2SS-6-wor

B7-2SS-2-wor
B7-2SS-4-wor
B7-2SS-7-wor
B7-2SS-8-wor
B7-2SS-9-wor
B7-2SS-6-wor/ro
B7-2SS-1
B7-2SS-1-wor
1000
100000

1000000

10000000
# of cycles

Figure 3-1. Preliminary Results of 2-inch Stainless Steel Test Specimens

3-2

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2" Carbon Steel Higuchi Curve with our Test Results


Weld Overlays are solid symbols; Original cracked socket welds are open symbols

100000

Higuchi
B8-2CS-1

Stress Amplitude (psi)

B8-2CS-4
B8-2CS-5
5
9

B8-2CS-6

6rt
5rr

B8-2CS-8
9r>
4r>
8r>
1r>

10000
1

B8-2CS-9
B8-2CS-10
B8-2CS-1wor
B8-2CS-4wor
B8-2CS-5wor
B8-2CS-6wor
B8-2CS-8wor
B8-2CS-9wor

1000
100000

1000000

10000000
# of Cycles

Figure 3-2. Preliminary Results of 2-inch Carbon Steel Test Specimens

3-3

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3/4" Stainless Steel Higuchi Curve with our Test Results


Weld Overlays are solid symbols; Original cracked socket weld are open symbols

100000

5
6

4tr
1

1rt

7t>
7

10000

Higuchi
B9-34SS-1
B9-34SS-2
B9-34SS-7
B9-34SS-8
B9-34SS-3
B9-34SS-4
B9-34SS-5
B9-34SS-6
B9-34SS-1 wor
B9-34SS-2 wor
B9-34SS-7 wor
B9-34SS-8 wor
B9-34SS-3 wor
B9-34SS-4 wor
B9-34SS-5 wor
B9-34SS-6 wor

1000
100000

1000000

10000000

Figure 3-3. Preliminary Results of 3/4-inch Stainless Steel Test Specimens

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A APPENDIX: CODE CASE

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Case N-XXX
Alternative Rules for Repair of Class 1, 2, and 3
Socket Welded Connections
Section XI, Division 1

Inquiry: Under the rules of IWA-4611,


structural integrity of components
containing unacceptable defects may be
restored by defect removal and repair. As
an alternative to defect removal and repair
of a cracked or leaking socket weld where
the failure is predominantly a result of
vibration fatigue, is it permissible to restore
the structural integrity by installation of
weld reinforcement (weld overlay) on the
outside surface of the pipe, weld, and
fitting?

Addenda, refer to Table 1 for applicable


references.
(b) Use of this Code Case is limited to
Class 1, 2, or 3 NPS 2 and smaller socket
welded connections with base material of PNumber 1 Group 1, P-Number 1 Group 2, or
P-Number 8.
(c) Reinforcement weld metal (structural
and seal layers) shall be deposited in
accordance with a welding procedure
specification qualified in accordance with
IWA-4440.
(d) The repair shall be acceptable for
service for one refueling cycle if no action is
taken to determine the cause of the vibration
and to reduce it to acceptable levels. The
repair shall be acceptable for the remaining
life of the piping system if corrective action
is taken to reduce vibration to acceptable
levels. When the time to failure of the
original socket weld was less than one fuel
cycle, then corrective action to reduce the
vibration to acceptable levels must be taken.
(e) This case can only be applied once
per socket weld. A socket weld may not be
reinforced more than one time.
(f) All other applicable requirements of
IWA-4000, IWB-4000, IWC-4000, or IWD4000 shall be met.

Reply: It is the opinion of the Committee


that, in lieu of the requirements of IWA4611, the structural integrity of a cracked or
leaking socket weld in Class 1, 2 and 3, NPS
2 and smaller piping may be restored by
deposition of weld reinforcement (weld
overlay) on the outside surface of the pipe,
weld and fitting, provided the requirements
of this case are met:

1.0 General Requirements


(a) The repair shall be performed in
accordance with a Repair Replacement
Program1 satisfying the requirements of
IWA-4150 in the Edition and Addenda of
Section XI applicable to the plant in-service
inspection program, or later Edition and
Addenda of Section XI. The references used
in this Case refer to the 2001 Edition of
Section XI. For use with other Editions and

2.0 Evaluation
(a) Determine that the socket weld
failure mechanism is predominantly a result
of vibration fatigue. This determination, as
a minimum, should be based on review of
the design, operating history, and the visual
inspection of the failed socket weld.
Metallurgical analysis of the flaw surface for
failure determination is not required.

When applying this Case to Editions and


Addenda later than the 1989 Edition,
reference to Repair Program shall be read as
Repair Plan.

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(b) Verify that pipe base material


adjacent to the socket weld requiring repair
meets design minimum wall thickness.
(c) Evaluate the effect of water backing
on the repair

4.0 Procedure
(a) Prior to repair, visually examine the
socket weld to determine the location and
approximate extent of cracking.
(b) Seal the crack by depositing one or
more weld beads directly over the crack.
Peening may be used in combination with
welding to seal the crack.
(c) VT-1 examine the seal weld,
remaining socket weld and adjacent base
material that will be reinforced. Visual
examination shall be performed with a
minimum 8X magnification and shall verify
that the leakage has been stopped and the
surface is dry and suitable for structural
reinforcement
(d) Deposit two or more structural
reinforcement layers around the entire
circumference of the fitting, weld, and pipe.
The minimum required deposit length, throat
and leg dimensions shall be in accordance
with Figure 1. The throat and leg
dimensions shall not include the seal layer(s)
deposited in accordance with 4(b) above.
The weld surface need not be ground; an aswelded surface is acceptable.

3.0 Design
(a) The intent of the design is to restore
the integrity of the welded connection such
that the fatigue life is at least equal to that of
a new standard socket weld. The source of
the vibration that failed the original socket
weld will also eventually fail the overlaid
socket weld unless measures are taken to
identify and mitigate the vibration. The
owner shall consider this in the suitability
evaluation required by IWA-4160.
(b) The completed weld reinforcement
repair shall meet the dimensional
requirements specified in Figure l. The
minimum reinforcement dimensions also
apply when the fatigue crack is located in
the base metal adjacent to the toe of the
socket weld. The minimum reinforcement
dimensions shall be measured from the
location of the crack furthest from the weld
toe.
(c) The filler metal for structural
reinforcement of P-No. 1 materials shall be
AWS Class E70XX-X or ER70S-X. Filler
metal for structural reinforcement of P-No. 8
materials shall be AWS Class E3XX-XX or
ER3XX. The filler metal for the seal weld
may be any filler metal permitted by a
qualified welding procedure specification.
(d) Evaluate all relevant applied loads in
the system.
(e) C2 and K2 (reference NB-3680) or i
(reference NC-3673) values for the repaired
socket weld shall be the same as for a
standard socket weld.
(f) For Class 1 piping, evaluate the
effect of the increased mass of the
reinforced weld on thermal stress.

5.0 Examination and Testing


(a) Examination of the final structural
reinforcement weld shall be performed in
accordance with (1) or (2) below:
(1)
The completed structural
reinforcement weld shall be examined in
accordance with the Construction Code
identified in the Repair/ Replacement Plan.
Type of examination and coverage shall be
the same as that specified for a standard
socket weld.

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(2)
When the system operating
temperature exceeds the temperature at
which a specified surface examination can
be performed, a VT-1 examination may be
performed as an alternative. This VT-1
examination shall be performed with a
minimum of 8X magnification. Visual
indications shall be evaluated using the
surface examination acceptance criteria of
the Construction Code specified in the
Repair/Replacement Plan
(b) Following completion of all repair
activities, the affected restraints, supports,
and snubbers shall be VT-3 visually
examined to determine that design
tolerances are met.
(c) A system leakage test shall be
performed in accordance with IWA 5213.

6.0 Documentation
Use of this code case shall be documented
on an NIS-2 form.

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TABLE 1
References for Alternative Editions and Addenda of Section XI
1995 Addenda through 2001
Edition

1991 Addenda through


1995 Edition

1988 Addenda through


1990 Addenda

1983 Winter Addenda


through 1987 Addenda

4110 Scope
4120 Applicability

4110
4120 (91A-92E) 4111
(92A to 95E)

4110 & 7110


7400

4110 & 7110


7400

4150 R/R Program and Plan

4140 & 4170

4120 & 4130 & 7130

4160 Verification of
Acceptability

4150

7220 & 4130

4130 & 4120


7130 added W85A
7220 & 4130

7220 & 4130

4180 Documentation

4910

4800 &7520

4700 & 7520

4700 & 7520

4400 Welding, Brazing, Defect


Removal and Installation

4200 & 4300 through


93A & 4170

4120, 4200,4300 & 4400


IWB-4200

4120, 4200 & 4300


IWB-4200

4500 Examination and Test


4530 Preservice Inspection and
Testing
4540 Pressure Testing
4600 Alternative Welding
Methods

4700 &4800
4820

4120, 4200,4300 & 4400


and IWB-4200 88A to
89A
4600 & 4700
4600 & 7530

4400 & 4500


4500 & 7530

4400 & 4500


4500 & 7530

4700
4500

4700
4500

4400
IWB-4300

4400
IWB-4300

A-6

1981 Winter Addenda


through 1983 Summer
Addenda
4110 &7110
7400

4130

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tn

Seal weld

0.77 tn
Root
crack

Design Dimensions

0.77 tn
Seal weld

As Welded
Appearance

Root Crack

tn

Seal weld
Seal weld
Toe
crack

0.77 tn
r

0.77 tn

Toe Crack
Figure 1. Socket Weld Reinforcement Dimensions. The right side of the figures shows the design
dimensions while the left side shows the as-welded appearance. The final surface of the overlay
may be left in the as-welded condition

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mark of the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.

1003165

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