The inner surfaces of ferritic steel pressure vessels are often coated with a weld-deposited layer of austenitic cladding for the purpose of corrosion resistance.

UK practice of assessing the defect tolerance by postulating defects in components leads to the requirement for a fracture assessment that includes cladding. Section XI requires that the cladding be considered in the fracture analysis, including cladding-induced stresses in the KI evaluation; these stresses largely arise due to the different coefficients of thermal expansion of the cladding and base material, and can also be known as cladding residual stresses.

It is thought that in some assessments of clad pressure vessels, the cladding residual stress is either not included, or assumed to be of a significantly reduced magnitude — due to it decreasing at typical operating temperatures and/or being relaxed by prior overloads such as a hydrostatic test.

This paper describes finite element analysis to determine the effect of cladding residual stress, comparing J values for loading with and without cladding stresses. Comparisons are also made with J-estimations using the R6 fracture assessment procedure. It is argued that cladding-induced stresses would not contribute to ductile failure as they would be reduced by prior loading, with remaining residual stresses being overcome under large plasticity before failure, due to their secondary nature. Further, it may be misleading to include them in an R6 assessment when using simplified approaches, as their contribution can be exaggerated through pessimistic calculations of the V factor.

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