Overestimation of long-term creep strength of creep strength enhanced ferritic steels is caused by inflection of a relation between stress and time to rupture. Creep rupture strength of those steels has been re-evaluated by a region splitting analysis and allowable tensile stress of some steels regulated in METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) Thermal Power Standard Code in Japan has been reduced. A region splitting analysis method evaluates creep rupture strength in the short- and the long-term individually, which is separated by 50% of 0.2% offset yield stress. Inflection of stress vs. time to rupture curve is attributable to longer creep rupture life with a stabilized microstructure of creep strength enhanced ferritic steels, since tensile strength property, which determines short-term creep rupture strength, remains the same level. Accuracy of creep rupture strength evaluation is improved by region splitting analysis. Delta ferrite produces concentration gap due to difference in equilibrium composition of austenite and ferrite at the normalizing temperature. It increases driving force for diffusion and promotes recovery of tempered martensite adjacent to delta-ferrite. Concentration gap may be produced also in heat affected zone (HAZ), especially in fine grain HAZ similar to that in dual phase steel, and it has possibilities to promote recovery and, therefore, to decrease creep strength.

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