Establishing design and inspection criteria for impulsively loaded vessels requires a precise understanding of the damage mechanisms and failure modes experienced by the vessels. To that end, Stress Engineering Services, Inc. performed a metallurgical examination of three impulsively loaded vessels that Sandia National Laboratories had intentionally tested to failure, two by impulsive loading and one by hydrotest after impulsive load testing. The vessels were scale models of Type 316 stainless steel vessels use for disposal of chemical ordnance. The examination identified microstructural effects, mechanical damage, and fractographic features associated with exposure to impulsive loads. In particular, the examination identified damage associated with wave interference patterns and unusual patterns of deformation and cracking associated with residual ferrite stringers within the austenitic matrix of the alloy. The characterization of the damage mechanisms leading to failure has direct relevance to ASME design criteria, to the selection of appropriate materials, and to inspection practices for impulsively loaded vessels.
Burns, Michael G., Haroldsen, Brent, and Yip, Mien, “Metallurgical Examination of Impulsively Loaded Vessels” Proceedings of Materials Science and Technology 2012, October 7-11, 2012, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania