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    Microstructural Characterization of Submerged Arc Weld Metals

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    This paper presents the results of a detailed microstructural evaluation of Linde 80 submerged arc weld metals typically found in Babcock and Wilcox 177FA Class reactor vessels. Optical metallography was performed on Linde 80 weld metals to characterize the grain structure, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to characterize the fracture surfaces. These weld metals have a tempered bainitic structure with large amounts of manganese rich inclusions.

    Analytical transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to characterize the carbides, coarse (0.1- to 2.0-μm) inclusions, and fine (2- to 50-nm) precipitates. Thin foil and extraction techniques were used to characterize particle morphology while convergent beam electron diffraction (CBED) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDS) techniques were carried out to identify the particle chemical composition and crystal structure. These results are compared with published results from simulated reactor vessel welds found in the in-situ annealing program sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).


    transmission electron microscopy, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, convergent beam electron diffraction, energy dispersive X-ray techniques, thin foil techniques, extraction techniques, submerged arc weld, reactor vessels, inclusion, copper precipitation, carbides

    Author Information:

    Lawless, KR
    Professor, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

    Pavinich, WA
    Senior research engineer, Babcock & Wilcox Co., Research and Development Division, Lynchburg, VA

    Lowe, AL
    Advisory engineer, Babcock & Wilcox Co., Nuclear Power Division, Lynchburg, VA

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP25659S