Sensors for monitoring creep strain in high-pressure steam pipes and other power plant components are subjected to very demanding environmental and operational conditions. It is important that the sensors are of a rugged design and that measurement can be made that only relates to creep movements in power plant components. The E.ON UK auto-reference creep management and control (ARCMAC) optical strain gauges have been designed to have this capability. These optical strain gauges are installed across sections of welded steam pipe and other plant components in locations that provide the best monitoring points to reveal the early onset of failure processes. Reported in this paper are recent developments to improve optical creep strain measurement to achieve a 65 microstrain accuracy level with an error of less than 10%. Also reported are trials of combining optical strain gauges with digital image correlation (DIC) to obtain detailed information of the creep strain distribution around the gauges. The DIC data for known defect geometries have been validated with finite element analysis.
Optical Strain Measurement Techniques to Assist in Life Monitoring of Power Plant Components
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Morris, A., Maharaj, C., Kourmpetis, M., Dear, I., Puri, A., and Dear, J. (January 21, 2009). "Optical Strain Measurement Techniques to Assist in Life Monitoring of Power Plant Components." ASME. J. Pressure Vessel Technol. April 2009; 131(2): 024502. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3062935
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