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Title: Effect of Light Water Reactor Water Environments on the Fatigue Life of Reactor Materials

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (Code) provides rules for the design of Class 1 components of nuclear power plants. Figures I-9.1 through I-9.6 of Appendix I to Section III of the Code specify fatigue design curves for applicable structural materials. However, the Code design curves do not explicitly address the effects of light water reactor (LWR) water environments. Existing fatigue strain-vs.-life (ε-N) laboratory data illustrate potentially significant effects of LWR water environments on the fatigue resistance of pressure vessel and piping steels. Extensive studies have been conducted at Argonne National Laboratory and elsewhere since 1990 to investigate the effects of LWR environments on the fatigue life of piping and pressure vessel steels. This article summarizes the results of these studies. Existing fatigue ε-N data were evaluated to identify the various material, environmental, and loading conditions that influence fatigue crack initiation; a methodology for estimating fatigue lives as a function of these parameters was developed. The effects were incorporated into the ASME Code Section III fatigue evaluations in terms of an environmental correction factor, F en, which is defined as the ratio of fatigue life in air at room temperature to the fatigue lifemore » in the LWR water environment at reactor operating temperatures. Available fatigue data were used to develop fatigue design curves for carbon and low-alloy steels, austenitic stainless steels, and nickel-chromium-iron (NiCr-Fe) alloys and their weld metals in air at room temperature. A review of the Code Section III fatigue adjustment factors of 2 on strain and 20 on life is also presented and the possible conservatism inherent in the choice of these adjustment factors is evaluated. A brief description of potential effects of neutron irradiation on fatigue crack initiation for these structural materials is also presented.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Environmental Science Division
  2. Structural Integrity Associates, Inc., Huntersville, NC (United States)
  3. US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Washington, DC (United States). Division of Engineering
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 139; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-9930
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USNRC
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: