Simulation model for estimating probabilities of defects in welds

O. J.V. Chapman, M. A. Khaleel, F. A. Simonen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

10 Citations (Scopus)


In recent work for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in collaboration with Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Rolls-Royce and Associates Ltd. has adapted an existing model for piping welds to address welds in reactor pressure vessels. This paper describes the flaw estimation methodology as it applies to flaws in reactor pressure vessel welds (but not flaws in base metal or flaws associated with the cladding process). Details of the associated computer software (RR-PRODIGAL) are provided. The approach uses expert elicitation and mathematical modeling to simulate the steps in manufacturing a weld and the errors that lead to different types of weld defects. The defects that may initiate in weld beads include center cracks, lack of fusion, slag, pores with tails, and cracks in heat affected zones. Various welding processes are addressed including submerged metal arc welding. The model simulates the effects of both radiographic and dye penetrant surface inspections. Output from the simulation gives occurrence frequencies for defects as a function of both flaw size and flaw location (surface connected and buried flaws). Numerical results are presented to show the effects of submerged metal arc versus manual metal arc weld processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-382
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Pressure Vessels and Piping Division (Publication) PVP
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 ASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference. Part 1 (of 2) - Montreal, Can
Duration: 21 Jul 199626 Jul 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this