Prior knowledge of the magnitude and distribution of residual stresses in welded components is essential if a cost effective analyses of the integrity of the components is to be made. AREVA NP has recently developed, for EPR applications, narrow gap welding techniques, for joining ferritic low alloy steel heavy section components to austenitic, stainless steel piping systems, in nuclear reactors. An appraisal of available measurement methods was carried out and two residual stress measurement techniques were used to obtain through-thickness residual stress distributions in a fully circumferential narrow gap welded pipe, the neutron diffraction, which is not presented in this paper and the deep hole drilling (DHD) method. The DHD method was used to obtain the axial and hoop residual stresses along the weld centreline and on the heat affected zone in the ferritic and stainless steel sides up to depths of about 40mm from the outer surface of the pipe. The measured residual stress distribution in the weld centreline is compared with representative residual stress distribution provided in UK safety assessment procedures. It is found that the current safety assessment procedures BS 7910:2005 and R6 are conservative. The DHD measurements were made only at limited points in and adjacent to the circumferential weld. In order to estimate the complete residual stress distribution present in the pipe, a measurement mapping procedure using finite element (FE) analysis was implemented. Therefore this paper also provides the estimates of the full residual stress state present in the pipe based on the mapping procedure.

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