Le Creusot Heavy Forge has been manufacturing low-pressure (LP) disks and shaft ends for 1300-MW nuclear power plants. These forgings, in weldable 1.8Cr-1Ni-0.8Mo steel, are welded by Alsthom Atlantique.
With the aim of improved quality, homogeneity of mechanical properties, hardenability, and weldability, this metallurgical research has been carried out: 1. Optimization of the steel grade (the effect of silicon, manganese, and molybdenum). 2. The influence of tempering and stress relief treatment parameters. 3. The effect of impurities.
These studies have led the Steel Melting Shop of Creusot-Loire Factory to invest in a high-performance process of steelmaking: the heating ladle refining process. This new process has had spectacular results that have been confirmed by investigations on cut-up industrial forgings.