The authors present a numerical study of a start-up of a boiler with a thick-walled element subjected to thermomechanical loading. The significance of calculations of real heat transfer coefficients has been demonstrated. Fluid dynamics, mechanical transient thermal and static structural calculations have been conducted in both separate and coupled modes. Strain-stress analyses prove that the effect of the heat transfer coefficient changing in time and place in comparison with a constant one as recommended by standards is the key factor of fatigue calculations.
The following paper presents the method for solving one-dimensional inverse boundary heat conduction problems. The method is used to estimate the unknown thermal boundary condition on inner surface of a thick-walled Y-branch. Solution is based on measured temperature transients at two points inside the element's wall thickness. Y-branch is installed in a fresh steam pipeline in a power plant in Poland. Determination of an unknown boundary condition allows for the calculation of transient temperature distribution in the whole element. Next, stresses caused by non-uniform transient temperature distribution and by steam pressure inside a Y-branch are calculated using the finite element method. The proposed algorithm can be used for thermal-strength state monitoring in similar elements, when it is not possible to determine a 3-D thermal boundary condition. The calculated temperature and stress transients can be used for the calculation of element durability. More accurate temperature and stress monitoring will contribute to a substantial decrease of maximal stresses that occur during transient start-up and shut-down processes.