Failure Mechanisms on Exhaust Systems of Naval Gas Turbines
Some exhaust systems of naval gas turbines have been periodically repaired due to thermal-fatigue crack propagation after entering into service. Those structures were made of austenitic stainless steel grade AISI 316L in thin wall plates, which were bent in rolling machines and welded with longitudinal and circumferential joints by means of shielded metal arc, TIG or MIG/MAG welding processes. The plate thickness is about 3.7 mm and the temperature on the exhaust system is approximately 500°C and 350°C in the critical zones, which are located in the lower and intermediate regions of the exhaust system.Several cracks were detected at the critical regions, near the weld toe of butt and T-welded joints. The stress concentration factors induced by the weld angle, toe radius and rolled surface finishing diminishes the fatigue life strength. Some cracked material samples were taken out from the exhaust system structure and were analysed with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM/EDS), in order to determine the failure mechanisms involved in the crack propagation process. Those results are presented in the paper. Several high temperature fatigue and creep tests were performed with CT specimens. The mechanisms of crack propagation on the CT specimens were studied by SEM and compared with the fracture surfaces obtained from the samples taken out from the structure. The carbide precipitation on the grain boundaries was also studied.
António Torres Marques, António Fernando Silva, António Paulo Monteiro Baptista, Carlos Sá, Fernando Jorge Lino Alves, Luís Filipe Malheiros and Manuel Vieira
R. F. Martins et al., "Failure Mechanisms on Exhaust Systems of Naval Gas Turbines", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 587-588, pp. 946-950, 2008