Characteristics relevant to ductile failure of bimetallic welds and evaluation of transferability of fracture properties

Anssi Laukkanen (Corresponding Author), Pekka Nevasmaa, Ulla Ehrnstén, Rauno Rintamaa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)


    Life management and structural integrity assessment of bimetallic welds in its state-of-the-art form relies on practical methods derived on the basis of years of experience in operation and simplistic strength of materials analyses. The complex conditions and properties of the weldment, as resulting from the elaborate interaction of different microstructures with gradients in material properties, have limited the ability of currently existing methods to construct the assessment on the basis of actual failure mechanisms of bimetallic welds. Current work addresses the assessment procedure by combining experimental and numerical fracture mechanics comprising a micro-mechanical evaluation of the relevant damage mechanisms. The studied dissimilar ferrite (SA508)-austenite (AISI 304) circumferencial weld is one with a Ni-enriched buttering layer. The experimental work comprises tensile and fracture mechanical characterization of the different microstructural zones of the bimetallic weld. Tensile properties are determined with microstructure specific flat bar specimens as well as round bar specimens enabling better inference of true stress-strain curves. Fracture resistance curves are established by applying small-specimen testing techniques. Different crack configurations are modeled by finite element analysis (FEA) to assess the relationships between fracture types, toughness and local near crack tip constraint parameters. Transferability and characterization question are considered by determining J-Q-trajectories and employing small-scale yielding corrections (SSYCs). On the basis of the experimental and numerical results and a fractographical investigation, the micromechanics of fracture are interpreted. Differences in strain hardening capacities of microstructural zones are found to most severely affect the toughness transitions of the weld and the associated failure modes. Two prime failure types are noted, one for cracks located at outer heat affected zone (HAZ) resulting in an unstable crack deflection towards the fusion line (FL) and another type associated with cracks positioned near the fusion line, wherein a low-toughness ductile fracture process results. Small fracture mechanics specimen is found applicable for fracture resistance determination of bimetallic weldments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • welding
    • welds
    • bimetallic welds
    • failure
    • failure analysis
    • failure mechanisms
    • ProperTune


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