Condition Assessment and Improvement of a Steam Turbine Rotor
Numerous flaws were detected in a steam turbine rotor during a scheduled inspection and maintenance outage. A fracture-mechanics-based analysis of the flaws showed that the rotor could not be safely returned to service. Material, samples from the bore were analyzed to evaluate the actual mechanical properties and to determine the metallurgical cause of the observed indications. Samples were examined in a scanning electron microscope and subjected to chemical analysis and several mechanical property tests, including tensile, Charpy V-notch impact, and fracture toughness. The material was found to be a typical Cr-Mo-V steel, and it met the property requirements. No evidence of temper embrittlement was found. The analyses showed that the observed flaws were present in the original forging and attributed them to lack of ingot consolidation. A series of actions, including overboring of the rotor to remove indications close to the surface and revision of starting procedures, were implemented to extend the remaining life of the rotor and ensure its fitness for continued service.