This study investigated the creep rupture strength and microstructure evolution in welded joints of high-boron, low-nitrogen 9Cr steels developed by NIMS. The welds were fabricated using the GTAW process and Inconel-type filler metal on steel plates with varying boron content (47-180 ppm). Creep rupture tests were conducted at 923K for up to 10,000 hours. Despite their higher boron content, these steels exhibited good weldability. Welded joints of the boron steel displayed superior creep properties compared to conventional high-chromium ferritic steel welds like P92 and P122. Notably, no Type IV failures were observed during creep testing. Welding introduced a large-grained microstructure in the heat-affected zone (HAZ) heated to the austenite transformation temperature (Ac3 HAZ). This contrasts with the grain refinement observed in the same region of conventional heat-resistant steel welds. Interestingly, the grain size in this large microstructure was nearly identical to that of the base metal. Analysis of the simulated Ac3 HAZ revealed crystal orientation distributions almost identical to those of the original specimen. This suggests a regeneration of the original austenite structure during the alpha-to-gamma phase transformation. Simulated Ac3 HAZ structures of the boron steel achieved creep life nearly equivalent to the base metal. The suppression of Type IV failure and improved creep resistance in welded joints of the boron steels are likely attributed to the large-grained HAZ microstructures and stabilization of M23C6 precipitates. The optimal boron content for achieving the best creep resistance in welded joints appears to lie between 90 and 130 ppm, combined with minimized nitrogen content.

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