Crack growth rates and fracture toughness of irradiated austenitic stainless steels in BWR environments. Page: 4 of 142
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In light water reactors, austenitic stainless steels (SSs) are used extensively as structural alloys in
reactor core internal components because of their high strength, ductility, and fracture toughness.
However, exposure to high levels of neutron irradiation for extended periods degrades the fracture
properties of these steels by changing the material microstructure (e.g., radiation hardening) and
microchemistry (e.g., radiation-induced segregation). Experimental data are presented on the fracture
toughness and crack growth rates (CGRs) of wrought and cast austenitic SSs, including weld heat-
affected-zone materials, that were irradiated to fluence levels as high as ~ 2 x 1021 n/cm2 (E > 1 MeV)
(z 3 dpa) in a boiling heavy water reactor at 288-3000C. The results are compared with the data available
in the literature. The effects of material composition, irradiation dose, and water chemistry on CGRs
under cyclic and stress corrosion cracking conditions were determined. A superposition model was used
to represent the cyclic CGRs of austenitic SSs. The effects of neutron irradiation on the fracture
toughness of these steels, as well as the effects of material and irradiation conditions and test temperature,
have been evaluated. A fracture toughness trend curve that bounds the existing data has been defined.
The synergistic effects of thermal and radiation embrittlement of cast austenitic SS internal components
have also been evaluated.
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Chopra, O. K. & Shack, W. J. Crack growth rates and fracture toughness of irradiated austenitic stainless steels in BWR environments., report, January 21, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc894615/m1/4/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.