News & View, Volume 48 | Fatigue Adjustment Factors for Increased Cyclic Life

News & Views, Volume 48 | Fatigue Adjustment Factors for Increased Cyclic Life

By:  Bill WeitzeNews & View, Volume 48 | Fatigue Adjustment Factors for Increased Cyclic Life

100% of thermal stress was treated as nonlinear gradient stress and linear bending stress was about 12% of the moment stress. Structural Integrity’s (SI’s) review of the stress terms used in piping analysis show that pressure stress does create bending stress in components…

EPRI Report 3002014121 “Development of Fatigue Usage Life and Gradient Factors” has developed fatigue usage adjustment factors that account for: 1) increased cyclic life associated with the growth of potential engineering size fatigue cracks in thicker components (thickness factor, TF; also called life factor, LF), and 2) the presence of through-thickness stress gradients (gradient factor, GF). (TF is used in the issued Code Case.)  These factors are applied to cumulative usage factor, U, in air.

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News & View, Volume 48 | Examination Optimization for PWR and BWR Components

News & Views, Volume 48 | Examination Optimization for PWR and BWR Components

By:  Scott Chesworth, Bob Grizzi, and Dilip Dedhia

Optimizing the inspection interval for high-reliability components whose examinations have a significant outage impact.News & View, Volume 48 | Examination Optimization for PWR and BWR Components

Welds and similar components in nuclear power plants are subject to periodic examination under ASME Code, Section XI.  Typically, examinations are performed during every ten-year inspection interval using volumetric examination techniques, or a combination of volumetric and surface examination techniques.  Nuclear plants worldwide have performed numerous such inspections over the plant history with few service induced flaws identified.  Since personnel health and safety, radiation exposure, and overall outage costs associated with these inspections can be significant, Structural Integrity (SI) was contracted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to review the technical bases for the inspection intervals for select components.  The goal was to determine whether the frequency of current inspection requirements was justified or could be optimized (i.e., reduced in order to devote more attention to higher-value inspections and thereby maximize overall plant safety).  Special priority was given to components demonstrating an exceptional history of reliability and whose examinations have a significant outage impact.

News & Views, Volume 48 | Environmentally-Assisted Fatigue Screening and Managing EAF Effects in Class 1 Reactor Coolant Components

News & Views, Volume 48 | Environmentally-Assisted Fatigue – Screening and Managing EAF Effects in Class 1 Reactor Coolant Components

By: Dave Gerber and Terry HerrmannNews & Views, Volume 48 | Environmentally-Assisted Fatigue Screening and Managing EAF Effects in Class 1 Reactor Coolant Components

Environmentally-Assisted Fatigue (EAF) screening is used to systematically identify limiting locations for managing EAF effects on Class 1 reactor coolant pressure boundary components wetted by primary coolant.  This article provides an overview of the methods developed and used by Structural Integrity (SI) for Class 1 components having explicit fatigue analyses performed using ANSI/ASME B31.7(1) and ASME Section III(2).  A future article will discuss how this is performed for Class 1 piping designed and analyzed to ASME/ANSI B31.1(3).

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News & View, Volume 48 | SI-FatiguePro Version 4.0 Crack Growth Module Application Case Study; Complex Multi-Cycle Nuclear Transients

News & Views, Volume 48 | SI:FatiguePro Version 4.0 Crack Growth Module – Application Case Study Complex Multi-Cycle Nuclear Transients

News & View, Volume 48 | SI-FatiguePro Version 4.0 Crack Growth Module Application Case Study; Complex Multi-Cycle Nuclear Transients

As plants enter their initial or subsequent license renewal period one of the requirements is to show that fatigue (including environmental effects) is adequately managed.  For some locations in pressurized water reactors (PWRs), it can be difficult to demonstrate an environmental fatigue usage factor less than the code allowable value of 1.0.  Therefore, plants are increasingly turning to flaw tolerance evaluations using the rules of the ASME Code, Section XI, Appendix L.  Appendix L analytically determines an inspection interval based on the time it takes for a postulated flaw (axial or circumferential) to grow to the allowable flaw size.  For surge line locations, this evaluation can be very complex, as the crack growth assessment must consider many loadings, such as: insurge/outsurge effects, thermal stratification in the horizontal section of the line, thermal expansion of the piping (including anchor movements), and internal pressure.  Trying to envelope all of these loads using traditional tools can lead to excess conservatism in the evaluation, and short inspection intervals that reduce the value of an Appendix L evaluation.

News & Views, Volume 48 | Metallurgical Lab Case Study – Grade 91 Elbows Cracked Before Installation

By:  Wendy Weiss and Terry Totemeier

News & View, Volume 48 | Metallurgical Lab Case Study - Grade 91 Elbows Cracked Before InstallationStructural Integrity (SI) personnel visited a power plant construction site to examine four Grade 91 elbows (ASTM A234-WP91 20-inch OD Sch. 60) that were found to contain axially oriented surface indications. The elbows had not yet been installed. The indications were initially noticed during magnetic particle testing (MT) after one end of an elbow was field welded to a straight section and post weld heat treated (PWHT). Subsequently, three additional similarly welded elbows were inspected and indications were found at both the welded (inlet) and open (outlet) ends of three elbows. The elbow with the most significant indications was selected for SI’s on-site examinations. Figure 1 shows the inlet and outlet ends of the selected elbow.

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News & View, Volume 48 | Bypass Line Spray Issues

News & Views, Volume 48 | Bypass Line Spray Issues

News & View, Volume 48 | Bypass Line Spray IssuesBy:  Ben Ruchte and Kane Riggenbach

To provide operating flexibility, combined cycle plants are typically equipped with bypass systems (high pressure routing steam to cold reheat and hot reheat routing steam to the condenser).  These bypass systems include conditioning valves designed to reduce steam pressures followed by outlet desuperheaters which inject water to reduce steam temperatures.

This service environment exposes the downstream piping to a high frequency of temperature transients making these areas one of the most prominent ‘industry issues’.

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News & View, Volume 48 | Considerations of Pin Cracking in Finger Pin Turbine Blade Attachments

News & Views, Volume 49 | Considerations of Pin Cracking in Finger Pin Turbine Blade Attachments

By:  Cliff Lange and Matt Freeman

OEMs recommend periodic inspection of pinned finger turbine blade attachments for detection of service-induced damage as part of ongoing rotor maintenance activity. 

This article provides an example where ultrasonic inspection detected cracking in several pins of finger attachments and outlines an engineering assessment to support continued operation and identify a re-inspection interval.  This approach can be applied to other pinned finger blade attachments to determine suitability for service.

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Structural Integrity Associates Board Elects New Chairman

Structural Integrity Associates | Matt Sunseri, Board MemberOn August 27th, the Structural Integrity Associates Board elected Matt Sunseri as new SI Board Chairman replacing Barry Waitte who will remain on the board until his announced retirement in May. “I look forward to Matt’s leadership and insight in this new capacity,” said Mark Marano, Structural Integrity Associates CEO and Chief Nuclear Officer. “SI has a long heritage of providing high value engineering and consulting to the Nuclear Industry and this change enhances our strategic focus in this key zero-carbon industry segment.”

Matt joined the board in 2019 and is the former President and CEO of Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp. While at Wolf Creek, he was responsible for all aspects of the safe, reliable, and cost-effective operation of the plant and supported the development of international leaders through the World Association of Nuclear Operators. Matt brings nearly 40 years of utility experience having worked in both the regulated and merchant energy markets. He also serves as a member and chairman of the nuclear safety review board for the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in New Brunswick, Canada.

“I am honored to serve as the SI Board Chair and look forward to working with the other Board members as we fulfill our duties to the Company and its shareholders. I have always found that when transitions occur, it is a good opportunity to review our capabilities and the value we bring to clients,” said Matt.

Structural Integrity Associates is an employee owned specialty engineering and services company providing structural integrity assessment insights and services to achieve asset management excellence across multiple industries including Nuclear, Fossil, Oil & Gas, and critical infrastructure.

Structural Integrity Associates Releases 4th Generation BIoGEORGE BioFilm Growth Detector System

Structural Integrity Associates Releases BG4, a 4th Generation of the BIoGEORGE™ Biofilm Growth Detector System, enables real-time data monitoring

Structural Integrity Associates Releases 4th Generation BIoGEORGE BioFilm Growth Detector SystemThe Structural Integrity (SI) Chemistry and Materials Team have completed the development and release of BG4, the 4th generation of the BIoGEORGE™ Biofilm Growth Detector system. The 4th generation release includes analytical software (BGConnect) and enhanced communication utilizing Bluetooth enabled phone/tablet App (BGMobile). Our system provides real-time data, customizable graphs, and shareable reports, allowing the user to evaluate their chemical treatment program’s effectiveness on-demand.

“We are excited to provide an updated version of the BIoGEORGE™ Detector system, BG4, to our clients. The BIoGEORGE product has been shown to reduce O&M costs by optimizing chemical treatments. With this next generation of enhancements, clients will be able to take advantage of real-time data with less effort”, commented Mike Ford, SI Chemistry and Materials Director. “We see this as a necessary step in product innovation for our clients as they continue to focus on controlling costs.”  SI has begun to receive orders for the BG4 units from a returning client based on their positive experiences with the 3rd generation of the BIoGEORGE™ system and SI support.

About BIoGEORGE™

For over 20 years, SI has supplied previous generations of the BIoGEORGE™ Biofilm Growth Detector system to numerous clients in the power generation, refinery, pipeline, and chemical industries with great success. The product uses electrochemical methods to detect biofilm activity in water-based buildup on the probe surface to support chemical conditioning and plant performance.

For more information on BG4 and the latest marketing flyer, visit si-biofilmgrowth.com.

Structural Integrity Associates Announces the Appointment of Steve Gressler as Vice President, Fossil

Structural Integrity Associates Announces the Appointment of Steve Gressler as Vice President, Fossil

Structural Integrity Associates | Steve Gressler, Vice President, FossilStructural Integrity Associates, Inc. (SI), a leader in engineering and technology in the power and oil & gas industries, today announced the appointment of Steve Gressler as Vice President of its Fossil business. Gressler will report to Mark Marano, SI President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Gressler is a metallurgical engineer with over 30 years of experience in metallurgy, failure analysis, and the damage assessment of fossil power generation equipment and distributed heating and cooling systems with an emphasis on piping, boilers, headers, and balance of plant equipment. He is a principal contributor to engineering life cycle programs and procedures, risk assessments, analysis tools, and technologies to assess service degradation in low alloy and creep-strength enhanced ferritic steels.  His current work focuses on the development, integration, and deployment of nondestructive testing and damage tracking technology in addition to engineering consulting and materials assessments.

Since joining Structural Integrity Associates in 1997, Steve has been a principal contributor to the methodologies applied for life assessment of high temperature and critical piping components. This includes characterization of creep and fatigue damage in longitudinal seam welds, girth welds, and header ligaments.  It also extends to the engineering of data management systems used for aiding decision-making processes.

Marano noted, “Steve brings metallurgical leadership and technology development experience to the SI leadership team and is an integral part of our new customer focused strategy. Steve’s knowledge of the fossil business, tenure with SI, and relationships with our clients will accelerate our journey to create value for power and oil industry customers as a highly valued engineering and technology partner.”

Gressler received a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Registered Professional Engineer. Steve is also a prior recipient of the SI Riccardella Innovation Award for Prioritization Method for Fossil Plant Piping.