Research Papers: Materials and Fabrication

An Assessment of Mechanical Properties of A508-3 Steel Used in Chinese Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessels

[+] Author and Article Information
Meifang Yu

College of Material Science and Engineering,
Tianjin University,
92 Weijin Road,
Tianjin, China, 300072
e-mail: yumeifang999@sina.cn

Y. J. Chao

Fellow ASME
College of Material Science and Engineering,
Tianjin University,
92 Weijin Road,
Tianjin, China, 300072
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of South Carolina,
300 S. Main,
Columbia, SC 29208 
e-mail: chao@sc.edu

Zhen Luo

College of Material Science and Engineering,
Tianjin University,
92 Weijin Road,
Tianjin 300072, China
e-mail: lz@tju.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 31, 2014; final manuscript received December 7, 2014; published online March 25, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Marina Ruggles-Wrenn.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 137(3), 031402 (Jun 01, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: PVT-14-1140; doi: 10.1115/1.4029434 History: Received August 31, 2014; Revised December 07, 2014; Online March 25, 2015

China has very ambitious goals of expanding its commercial nuclear power by 30 GW within the decade and wishes to phase out fossil fuels emissions by 40–45% by 2020 (from 2005 levels). With over 50 new nuclear power plants under construction or planned and a design life of 60 years, any discussions on structural integrity become very timely. Although China adopted its nuclear technology from France or USA at present time, e.g., AP1000 of Westinghouse, the construction materials are primarily “Made in China.” Among all issues, both the accumulation of the knowledge base of the materials and structures used for the power plant and the technical capability of engineering personnel are imminent. This paper attempts to compile and assess the mechanical properties, Charpy V-notch impact energy, and fracture toughness of A508-3 steel used in Chinese nuclear reactor pressure vessels (RPVs). All data are collected from open literature and by no means complete. However, it provides a glimpse into how this domestically produced steel compares with western RPV steels such as USA A533B and Euro 20MnMoNi55.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Zhou, S. L., 2006, “Nuclear Power Industry Development Strategy of China,” Ph.D. thesis, Zhongnan University, Changsha, China (in Chinese).
Nie, W., Meng, X. F., Zhang, Z. Q., Zhu, L., and Chen, Y. S., 2012, “Review on Nuclear Power Construction and Its Geotechnical Engineering,” J. Yangtze River Sci. Res. Inst., 29(1), pp. 62–68 (in Chinese). [CrossRef]
ASME Code, Section XI, 2010, Rules for In-Service Inspection of Nuclear Power Plant Components, ASME, New York.
Li, C. L., and Zhang, M. Q., 2008, “Overview of Reactor Pressure Vessel Steel in PWR Nuclear Power Plants,” Mater. Rev., 22(9), pp. 65–68 (in Chinese). [CrossRef]
Chen, S. G., 1994, “Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel Steel and Manufacturing Processes,” Large Forg. Cast Parts, 64(2), pp. 25–34 (in Chinese).
Spence, J., and Nash, D. H., 2004, “Milestones in Pressure Vessel Technology,” Int. J. Pressure Vessels Piping, 81(2), pp. 89–118. [CrossRef]
Worral, G. M., Buswell, J. T., English, C. A., Hetherington, M. G., and Smith, G. D. W., 1987, “A Study of the Precipitation of Copper Particles in a Ferrite Matrix,” J. Nucl. Mater., 148(1), pp. 107–114. [CrossRef]
Huang, J. Y., Hwang, J. R., and Yeh, J. J., 2004, “Dynamic Strain Aging and Grain Size Reduction Effects on the Fatigue Resistance of SA533B Steels,” J. Nucl. Mater., 324(2), pp. 140–151. [CrossRef]
Chen, H. Y., Du, J. Y., and Deng, L. T., 2008, “The Comparison and Analysis of SA508 Series Steel Used For Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel Forgings,” Heavy Cast. Forg., 1, pp. 1–3 (in Chinese). [CrossRef]
Li, Y. L., Zhang, H. Q., and Peng, B. C., 2010, “Development and Research Status of Nuclear Pressure Vessel Steels,” Pressure Vessels, 27(5), pp. 36–43 (in Chinese). [CrossRef]
ASME Code Section II, 2010, Standard Specification for Quenched and Tempered Vacuum-Treated Carbon and Alloy Steel Forgings for Pressure Vessels, ASME, New York.
Kim, M. C., Lee, K. H., and Lee, B. S., 2010, “Mechanical Properties of SA508 Gr.4N Model Alloys as a High Strength RPV Steel,” ASME PVP, Vol.9, pp. 143–148.
Fang, Y., 2011, “Fracture Toughness Prediction of Domestic A508-III Steel Based on Master Curve Approach and Its Application to Reactor Pressure Vessel P-T Curve,” Master's thesis, East China University, Shanghai (in Chinese).
Chinese Standard GB-T 13329-2006, 2006, Low Temperature Metallic Materials—Tensile Testing, Chinese Standard, Beijing, China.
Wu, X. Y., 2005, “Effect of Neutron Irradiation on Brittlement for National A508-3 Steel,” Master thesis, Sichuan University, Chengdu (in Chinese).
ASTM E8M, 2009, Standard Test Methods for Tension Testing of Metallic Materials, ASTM, West Conshohocken, PA.
ASTM E21, 2009, Standard Test Methods for Elevated Temperature Tension Tests of Metallic Materials, ASTM, West Conshohocken, PA.
Hu, B. F., 1996, “Fracture Toughness of Large Cross-Section Nuclear Power Plant Pressure Vessel Ni-Cr-Mo-Mn Carbon Steel Forgings,” Iron Steel Res., 31(10), pp. 35–39 (in Chinese).
Zhong, W. H., Yang, W., and Lin, H., 2007, “Tensile Properties of Chinese A508-3 Steel,” China At. Energy Annu. Inst., 30(00), pp. 249–253 (in Chinese).
Zhang, Z., Liu, C. D., and Chen, W., 2002, “Static and Dynamic Fracture Toughness of Vessel Steel 508-3 Used for First Class Nuclear Reactor,” J. Iron Steel Res., 14(1), pp. 69–73 (in Chinese). [CrossRef]
Chinese Standard GB/T 15443-95, 1995, Pressurized Water Reactor Pressure Vessel-The Principle of Selecting Materials and the Basic Requirements of the Materials, Chinese Standard, Chengdu, China.
Sherry, A. H., Lidbury, D. P., and Beardsmore, D. W., 2001, “Validation of Constraint Based Structural Integrity Assessment Methods,” Final Report No. AEAT/RJCB/RD01329400/R003, AEA Technology, UK, pp. 19–23.
Aravind, K., 2009, “J-R Behavior of 20Mnmoni55 Pressure Vessel Steel,” M. Tech. thesis, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Roll NO: 207MM112.
Chen, Z. A., Zeng, Z., and Chao, Y. J., 2007, “Effect of Crack Depth on the Shift of the Ductile–Brittle Transition Curve of Steels,” Eng. Fract. Mech., 74(15), pp. 2437–2448. [CrossRef]
ASTM E23, 2012, Standard Test Methods for Notched Bar Impact Testing of Metallic Materials, ASTM, West Conshohocken, PA.
Zheng, L. B., Hu, B. F., and Wang, Z. Q., 1999, “Nuclear Power Equipment SA 508-3 Steel Research,” Boiler Manuf., 36(3), pp. 43–49 (in Chinese)
Kong, F. T., and Chen, Y. Y., 2011, “Effect of Double-Phase Area Heat Treatment on Impact Property and Impact Section of A508-3 Steel,” Heat Treat. Met., 36(11), pp. 54–59 (in Chinese).
Mo, H. J., Wu, X. Y., and Li, G. Y., 2009, “Methods of Measuring Dynamic Fracture Toughness on Reactor Pressure Vessel Material,” Prog. Rep. China Nucl. Sci. Technol., 1(4), pp. 63–67 (in Chinese).
Qiao, J. S., Zhong, W. H., and Yang, W., 2011, “Small Punch Test of the Domestic A508-3 Steel and Issue Argumentation,” J. North China Electr. Power Univ., 38(3), pp. 106–111 (in Chinese). [CrossRef]
Nanstad, R. K., and Mikhail, A. S., 1995, “Charpy Impact Test Results on Five Materials and NIST Verification Specimens Using Instrumented 2-mm and 8-mm Strikers,” Symposium on Pendulum Impact Machine: Procedures and Specimens for Verification, ASTM, Paper No. STP 1248.
Barry, H. R., 2012, “Characterization of A508/A533B Pressure Vessel Steel VHTR R&D FY12,” Technical Review Meeting, pp. 22–24.
Valo, M., Wallin, K., Torronen, K., and Ahlstrand, R., 1992, “Irradiation Response of the New IAEA Correlation Monitor Material JRQ Measured by Fracture Mechanical Properties,” ASTM STP1125, pp. 203–215.
Zheng, L. B., and Chen, J. Y., 1995, “Influence of Thermal Aging on Mechanical Properties of A533B Steel,” Boiler Manuf., 17(4), pp. 72–78 (in Chinese).
Chatterjee, S., Sriharsha, H. K., and Balakrishnan, K. S., 2004, “Utility and Procedure of Fracture Toughness Evaluation of Steels Through Master Curve Approach Using Charpy Impact Specimens,” Trans. Indian Inst. Met., 57(3), pp. 225–240.
Bhowmika, S., Chattopadhyaya, A., and Bosea, T., 2011, “Estimation of Fracture Toughness of 20Mnmoni55 Steel in the Ductile to Brittle Transition Region Using Master Curve Method,” Nucl. Eng. Des., 241(8), pp. 2831–2838. [CrossRef]
El-Fadaly, M. S., El-Sarrage, T. A., Eleiche, A. M., and Dahl, W., 1995, “Fracture Toughness of 20Mnmoni55 Steel at Different Temperatures as Affected by Room-Temperature Pre-Deformation,” J. Mater. Process. Technol., 54(1–4), pp. 159–165. [CrossRef]
Yoshimura, S., and Yagawa, G., 1985, “Dynamic Fracture Mechanics With Electromagnetic Force and Its Application to Fracture Toughness Testing,” Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 23(1), pp. 265–286.
Ghoneim, M. M., Nasreldin, A. M., Elsayed, A. A., Pachu, D., and Hammad, F. H., 1996, “Instrumented Impact Properties of Some Advanced Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels,” J. Mater. Eng. Perform., 5(3), pp. 328–334. [CrossRef]
Oldfield, W., 1975, Curve Fitting Impact Test Data: A Statistical Procedure , ASTM Standard News, West Conshohocken, PA., pp. 24–29.
ASTM E1820, 2006, Standard Test Method for Measurement of Fracture Toughness , ASTM, West Conshohocken, PA.
ASTM E399, 2012, Standard Test Method for Linear-Elastic Plane-Strain Fracture Toughness KIC of Metallic Materials , ASTM, West Conshohocken, PA.
Ma, N., Wang, L., and Chen, Y., 2012, “A508-3 Steel Ductile-Brittle Transition Temperature Range Fracture Toughness Research,” Nucl. Power Eng., 33(2), pp. 56–60 (in Chinese).
Haggag, F. M., 1999, “Nondestructive and Localized Measurements of Stress–Strain Curves and Fracture Toughness of Ferritic Steels at Various Temperatures Using Innovative Stress–Strain Microproblem Technology,” The U.S. Department of Energy, Report No. DE-FG02-96ER82115.
Havel, R., Vacek, M., and Brumovsky, M., “Fracture Properties of Irradiated A533B, Cl.1, A508, Cl.3, and 15Cr2NMFAA Reactor Pressure Vessel Steel,” Radiation Embrittlement of Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels, ASTM, Paper No. STP 1170, pp. 163–171.
Ortner, S. R., 2001, “The Shape of the Ductile-to-Brittle Transition,” HSE, Report No. AEAT/R/NT/0381.
Serrano, M., Perosanz, F. J., and Lapen, J., 2000, “Direct Measurement of Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels Fracture Toughness: Master Curve Concept and Instrumented Charpy-V Test,” Int. J. Pressure Vessels Piping, 77(10), pp. 605–612. [CrossRef]
Bass, B. R., Dickson, T. L., and Williams, P. T., 2000, “Application of Statistically-Based KIC/KIA Fracture Toughness Models to PTS Assessments of Reactor Pressure Vessels,” U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Washington, DC, Report No. 20555-0001.
Ericksonkirk, M., Bass, B. R., Dickson, T., and Williams, P., 2006, “Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics—Models, Parameters, and Uncertainty Treatment Used in FAVOR Version 04.1,” U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Washington, DC, Report No. 20555-0001
Haggag, F. M., and Nanstad, R. K., 1989, “Estimating Fracture Toughness Using Tension or Ball Indentation Tests and a Modified Critical Strain Model,” Innovative Approaches to Irradiation Damage, and Fracture Analysis, Vol.170, D. L.Marriott, T. R.Mager, and W. H.Bamford, eds., ASME PVP, Honolulu, HI, pp. 570–586.
Von, F. C., and Sattari, F., 2012, “Implementation of the Master Curve Method in ProSACC,” Report No. 2012: 07.
Server, W., Rosinski, S., Lott, R., Kim, C., and Weakland, D., 2002, “Application of Master Curve Fracture Toughness for Reactor Pressure Vessel Integrity Assessment in the USA,” Int. J. Pressure Vessels Piping, 79(8–10), pp. 701–713. [CrossRef]
Bhowmik, S., Sahoo, P., and Acharyya, S. K., 2012, “Application and Comparative Study of the Master Curve Methodology for Fracture Toughness Characterization of 20Mnmoni55 Steel,” Mater. Des., 39(8), pp. 309–317. [CrossRef]
Heerens, J., and Hellmann, D., 2002, “Development of the Euro Fracture Toughness Dataset,” Eng. Fract. Mech., 69(4), pp. 421–449. [CrossRef]
Wallin, K., 2002, “Master Curve Analysis of the ‘‘Euro’’ Fracture Toughness Dataset,” Eng. Fract. Mech., 69(4), pp. 451–481. [CrossRef]
Scibetta, M., Lucon, E., and van Walle, E., 2002, “Optimum Use of Broken Charpy Specimens From Surveillance Programs for the Application of the Master Curve Approach,” Int. J. Fract., 116(3), pp. 231–244. [CrossRef]
ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section III, Division 1-NB, NB 2300, 2010, “Fracture Toughness Requirements for Material,” ASME, New York.
ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section III, Division 1-NB, NB 2331, 2010, “Fracture Toughness Requirements for Material,” ASME, New York.
Wallin, K., 1999, “The Master Curve Method: A New Concept for Brittle Fracture,” Int. J. Mater. Prod., 14(2), pp. 42–54. [CrossRef]
Sattari-Far, I., and Wallin, K., 2005, “Application of Master Curve Methodology for Structural Integrity Assessments of Nuclear Components,” SKI Report No. SKI-R-05/55-SE.
Code Case N-629, Cases of the ASME Code.
Code Case N-63 I, Cases of the ASME Code.
Krauss, G., and Marder, A. R., 1971, “The Morphology of Martensite in Iron Alloys,” Metall. Trans., 2(9), pp. 2343–2357. [CrossRef]
Zhou, Y. Z., Zhang, M. Y., and Chen, T. Q., 1981, Effect of Chemical Composition on the Fracture Toughness of Steel, Journal of Wuhan University Technology, Wuhan, China, pp. 67–77 (in Chinese).


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Tensile and yield strength of Chinese A508-3 steel

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

True stress–strain curve of Chinese A508-3 steel and A533B at −15 °C

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Charpy V-notch energy of Chinese A508-3 [14,16,21,27-30], USA A533B [31-35], and Euro 20MnMoNi55 [36-39]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Charpy absorbed energy–temperature curve of Chinese A508-3 steel, USA A533B and Euro 20MnMoNi55 steel; Eqs. (5)–(6)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Fracture toughness KIC of Chinese A508-3 steel, USA A533B, Euro 22NiMoCr37, and Euro 20MnMoNi55 as a function of temperature

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Fracture toughness KIC of three Chinese A508-3 steels(A64, B78, C87) [19]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Fracture Toughness KIC of Chinese A508-3 steel, USA A533B, and Euro 20MnMoNi55 steels scaled by T-RTNDT



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In