As a generality, the design and safety/performance assessment of plant components used for high temperature applications in the power generation, nuclear, petrochemical, chemical process and other such industries is currently based on their tensile and creep rupture strength. Service experience has shown that the present design codes are generally conservative and that the use of more sophisticated procedures based on 'advanced creep data' can reduce this conservatism. In addition to improving safe performance and extending the life of high temperature components, advanced creep properties provide more effective parameters for the development of new materials.
Advanced creep data are being generated by the European Commission and national funded projects in Europe. However, in the absence of coordination and networking at a European level, the data generated in such projects may vary in terms of quality and overall consistency. The lack of harmonisation of these activities can also be responsible for unnecessary inter-project duplication of effort and a waste of valuable resources. Furthermore, because of differences in terms, terminology and the understanding of such data, the exchange of information between European organisations across national boundaries can be difficult. There is therefore a specific need to harmonise and rationalise the advanced creep data being generated through various European projects.
This TN has formed a number of Working Groups (WGs)
which are responsible for achieving the following main network output
Production of the guidelines and procedures for the harmonised generation, collation/exchange, and analysis and dissemination of advanced creep data from European projects. These activities will contribute to the optimisation of European research effort and enhancing the impact of work on improving material exploitation, plant safety, and the introduction and selection of new materials.
Publication and provision of datasheets and knowledge to the European committees and bodies responsible for: product and testing standards, design/assessment codes, and plant inspection and safety.
In order to provide the above guidelines and other deliverables this TN will also bring together and harmonise work from projects dealing with component testing and data analysis and its relationship with the laboratory specimen data. Two additional WGs will study work relating to service exposed materials, and crack initiation from pre-existing defects. These WGs will also consider issues relating to life assessment.
The training of European engineers and the transfer of technology between countries will be another output of this TN.
In terms of the Thematic Network Management structure the ECCC Management Committee (MC) makes all policy decisions in conjunction with the co-ordinator, ETD. The convenors of the various WGs, appointed by the MC, are responsible for achieving the targets and for liaison with the European Standards Committees. The project co-ordinator is responsible for meeting the EC commitments, liaison between TN partners, and for running the TN secretariat.