An Analysis of Dynamic Crack Propagation and Arrest in a Nuclear Pressure Vessel Under Thermal Shock Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Jung

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M. 87185

M. F. Kanninen

Stress Analysis and Fracture Section, Battelle, Columbus, Ohio 43201

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 105(2), 111-116 (May 01, 1983) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3264251 History: Received December 16, 1982; Online November 05, 2009


The inner wall of a nuclear pressure vessel can become embrittled during service due to irradiation effects. As a result, a small flaw could become critical during the thermal shock that would accompany a loss-of-coolant-accident. To assess the consequences of this possibility, elastodynamic computations were performed on the subsequent rapid unstable crack run-arrest events. One difficulty is the lack of reliable dynamic fracture toughness data as a function of crack speed and temperature. However, using plausible estimates, computational results were obtained for comparison with conventional quasi-static analyses. These indicate that the neglect of the dynamic effects is mildly anticonservative for this application.

Copyright © 1983 by ASME
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