To ensure safe and reliable operation, steam turbine casings must have acceptable stresses and maintain sealing when subjected to internal pressures and temperatures. To show turbine casings acceptable, analysts conduct structural evaluations using finite element analysis (FEA) techniques. This paper outlines the analytical methods used to perform these types of analyses, provides analysis examples, and summarizes the process to create pressure and temperature limit maps.
Finite element models of the main casing and steam chest are used to determine stresses and sealing of the casing horizontal split line and steam chest cover during normal operation. The sealing evaluations consider the sealing capabilities of the bolted joints when the casing is subjected to internal steam pressure and consider the effects of bolt stress relaxation at elevated temperatures, joint contact surface separation, and penetration of the internal pressure into the sealing surface. The acceptance criteria for the bolted joint sealing is based on the minimum width of the contacting surface and the minimum joint contact pressure.
A series of analyses were conducted on the various models to create pressure and temperature limit maps, so that the design can be applied for the appropriate conditions. These maps plot maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) versus maximum allowable working temperature (MAWT), and allow an application engineer to easily determine the acceptability of the casing for a particular application. An explanation of the process used to create the limit maps is presented.