Overview of Fatigue Crack Initiation in Carbon and Low-Alloy Steels in Light Water Reactor Environments

[+] Author and Article Information
O. K. Chopra, W. J. Shack

Energy Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 121(1), 49-60 (Feb 01, 1999) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2883667 History: Received May 21, 1998; Revised July 21, 1998; Online February 11, 2008


Recent test data illustrate potentially significant effects of light water reactor (LWR) coolant environments on the fatigue resistance of carbon and low-alloy steels. The crack initiation and crack growth characteristics of carbon and low-alloy steels in LWR environments are presented. Decreases in fatigue lives of these steels in high-dissolved-oxygen water are caused primarily by the effect of environment on growth of short cracks <100 μm in depth. The material and loading parameters that influence fatigue life in LWR environments are defined. Statistical models have been developed to estimate the fatigue lives of these steels in LWR environments, and design fatigue curves have been developed for carbon and low-alloy steel components in LWR environments. The significance of environmental effect on the current Code design curve is evaluated.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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