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Research Papers: Materials and Fabrication

Fatigue Life of the Strain Hardened Austenitic Stainless Steel in Simulated Pressurized Water Reactor Primary Water

[+] Author and Article Information
Nicolas Huin

Formerly EDF R&D,
Avenue des Renardières,
Moret sur Loing 77818, France
e-mail: nicolas.huin@areva.com

Kazuya Tsutsumi

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries,
2-1-1, Shinhama,
Arai-cho, Takasago, Hyogo, Japan
e-mail: kazuya_tsutsumi@mhi.co.jp

Thierry Couvant

EDF R&D,
Avenue des Renardières,
Moret sur Loing 77818, France
e-mail: thierry.couvant@edf.fr

Gilbert Henaff

Institut P’,
11 Boulevard Marie et Pierre Curie,
Futuroscope, Chasseneuil 86962, France
e-mail: gilbert.henaff@ensma.fr

Jose Mendez

Institut P’,
11 Boulevard Marie et Pierre Curie,
Futuroscope, Chasseneuil 86962, France
e-mail: jose.mendez@ensma.fr

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received September 10, 2012; final manuscript received January 17, 2014; published online April 4, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Osamu Watanabe.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 136(3), 031405 (Apr 04, 2014) (11 pages) Paper No: PVT-12-1144; doi: 10.1115/1.4026521 History: Received September 10, 2012; Revised January 17, 2014

Over the last 20 years or so, many studies have revealed the deleterious effect of the environment on fatigue life of austenitic stainless steels in primary water reactor (PWR) primary water. The fatigue life correlation factor, so-called Fen, which corresponds to the ratio of fatigue life in air at room temperature to that in water under reactor operating conditions, has been standardized to consider the effect on fatigue life evaluation, and the formulations are function of strain rate and temperature due to their noticeable negative effect compared with other factors (Chopra and Shack, 2007, “Effect of LWR Coolant Environments on the Fatigue Life of Reactor Materials,” Final Report, Report No. NUREG/CR-6909, ANL-06/08; Codes for Nuclear Power Generation Facilities, 2009, "Environmental Fatigue Evaluation Method for Nuclear Power Plants," JSME S NF1-2009, The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Tokyo, Japan). However, mechanism causing fatigue life reduction remains to be cleared. As one of the possible approaches to examine the underlying mechanism of environmental effect, the authors focused on the effect of plastic strain, because it could lead microstructural evolution on the material. In addition, in the case of stress corrosion cracking (SCC), it is well known that the strain-hardening prior to exposure to the primary water can lead to remarkable increase of the susceptibility to cracking (Vaillant et al., 2009, “Stress Corrosion Cracking Propagation of Cold-Worked Austenitic Stainless Steels in PWR Environment,” 14th International Conference on Environmental Degradation of Materials in Nuclear Power Systems; Couvant et al., 2009, "Development of Understanding of the Interaction Between Localized Deformation and SCC of Austenitic Stainless Steels Exposed to Primary PWR Environment," 14th International Conference on Environmental Degradation of Materials in Nuclear Power Systems). However, its effect on fatigue life has not necessarily been cleared yet. The main effort in this study addressed the effect of the prior strain-hardening on low cycle fatigue life in the primary water. A plate of 304LSS was strain hardened by cold rolling or tension prior to fatigue testing. The tests were performed under axial strain control at 300 °C in primary water including B/Li and hydrogen, and in air. The effect on environmental fatigue life was investigated through a comparison of Fen in experiments and in regulations, and also the effect on the fatigue limit defined at 106 cycles was discussed.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Hollow type specimen

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Fig. 3

Outline and overview of test apparatus

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Fig. 5

Evolution of plastic strain measured at mid life as a function of fatigue life in air and in PWR primary environment

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Fig. 10

Distance between striations as a function of distance from initiation point on the samples tested at strain amplitude of 0.5% in primary water

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Fig. 4

Comparison between fatigue life in air and in PWR water at two levels of strain rate

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Fig. 14

Fatigue life as a function of cold work level at a strain amplitude of 0.5%

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Fig. 15

Experimental Fen for the cold-worked and the as-received materials in simulated PWR environment at 300 °C

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Fig. 16

Comparison between NUREG 6909 fatigue life prediction and experimental fatigue life

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Fig. 17

Comparison between JSME fatigue life prediction and experimental fatigue life

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Fig. 9

Effect of temperature and test environment on the evolution of mean stress

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Fig. 8

Evolution of the mean stress as a function of number of cycles on the cold-worked material

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Fig. 7

Evolution of the maximum stress as a function of number of cycles on the cold-worked material

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Fig. 6

Evolution of the maximum stress as a function of number of cycles on the various materials

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Fig. 11

Distance between striations as a function of distance from initiation point on the 10% rolled material tested in primary water

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Fig. 12

Cross section of 1630 MHI 01, Δεt/2 = 0.5%, Δεt/dt = 0.4%/s, 10% cold rolled, PWR primary water at 300 °C

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Fig. 13

Cross section of 1630 MHI 04, Δεt/2 = 0.5%, Δεt/dt = 0.004%/s, as-received, PWR primary water at 300 °C

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