The increase of long-term service exposure to thermal power plants, the tendency toward intermediate and cyclic operation to meet the change in electric power demand and supply situation, and the requirement to develop higher-temperature and higher-pressure plants have led to increasing attention towards the reliability improvement. This paper presents findings from field experiences of cracking or failure and two types of damage analyses—(1) creep-fatigue damage analysis based on the life fraction rule and (2) metallurgical damage analysis—of boiler pressure parts that have been exposed to long-term elevated temperature service. The field experiences are (1) cracking or failure of thick-walled Type 316 stainless steel pressure parts in the main steam line of an ultra-supercritical thermal power plant and (2) dissimilar metal weld joints for boiler tubing. The creep-fatigue damage analysis of these pressure parts showed a reasonable correspondence with the field experience. According to the creep-fatigue damage analysis and the metallurgical damage analysis, most of damage was restrained creep mode phenomenon without deformation. The creep damage was composed of metallurgical damage and mechanical damage such as microvoids and structural defects. One method of simulating field experienced creep damage was proposed and performed. As a result, the process of creep voids being generated and growing into cracks without deformation was successfully observed. Also a review of the current status of nondestructive detecting methods of creep damage suggests that detecting the creep voids metallurgically is more practical at the present time than doing so analyzing the changes in physical properties of the material. It is also suggested that, in the metallurgical approach, detecting the creep voids and cracks by replica method and anlayzing precipitates for evaluation of material deterioration by precipitate extraction method will make it possible to successfully address the problem of plant equipment creep damage evaluation and life prediction.

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