Low Cycle Fatigue of Nuclear Pipe Components

[+] Author and Article Information
J. D. Heald, E. Kiss

Applied Mechanics Development, Boiling Water Reactor Systems Department, General Electric Co., San Jose, Calif.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 96(3), 171-176 (Aug 01, 1974) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3454163 History: Received February 14, 1974; Online October 25, 2010


This paper presents the results of low-cycle fatigue testing and analysis of 26 piping components and butt-welded sections. The test specimens were fabricated from Type-304 stainless steel and carbon steel, materials which are typically used in the primary piping of light water nuclear reactors. Components included 6-in. elbows, tees, and girth butt-welded straight sections. Fatigue testing consisted of subjecting the specimens to deflection-controlled cyclic bending with the objective of simulating system thermal expansion type loading. Tests were conducted at room temperature and 550 deg F, with specimens at room temperature subjected to 1050 psi constant internal hydraulic pressure in addition to cyclic bending. In two tests at room temperature, however, stainless steel elbows were subjected to combined simultaneous cyclic internal pressure and cyclic bending. Predictions of the fatigue life of each of the specimens tested have been made according to the procedures specified in NB-3650 of Section III[1] in order to assess the code design margin. For the purpose of the assessment, predicted fatigue life is compared to actual fatigue life which is defined as the number of fatigue cycles producing complete through-wall crack growth (leakage). Results of this assessment show that the present code fatigue rules are adequately conservative.

Copyright © 1974 by ASME
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