Analysis of a Turbine Rotor Containing a Transverse Crack at Oak Creek Unit 17,
FAILURE ANALYSIS ASSOCIATES PALO ALTO CA
Pagination or Media Count:
Transient increases in one, two and three per revolution vibration characteristics of a low pressure steam turbine were observed during steam temperature reduction operations. Vibration and fracture mechanics analyses suggested the presence of a transverse shaft crack which was eventually identified by ultrasonic inspection and confirmed by destructive sectioning. Signature analyses of vibration data recorded over a two-year period prior to crack identification are correlated with fatigue crack growth, which occurred intermittently during transient temperature decreases. The apparent increased response of the rotor to vibration is due to asymmetric stiffness changes introduced by the growing transverse crack. The vibration response is predicted to increase with increasing crack depths in excess of 10 of the shaft diameter. Fracture mechanics analyses predict that fatigue crack growth occurred during periods of steam temperature decrease, when high surface tensile stresses are present. These same transient thermal stresses are shown to have retarded and prevented subsequent fatigue crack growth during steady operation.