United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Initial Assessment of the Mechanisms and Significance of Low-Temperature Embrittlement of Cast Stainless Steels in LWR Systems (NUREG/CR-5385, ANL-89/17)

On this page:

Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: May 1989
Date Published:
August 1990

Prepared by:
O.K. Chopra, A. Sather

Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, Illinois 60439

Prepared for:
Division of Engineering
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC FIN A-2243

Availability Notice


This report summarizes work performed by Argonne National Laboratory on long-term embrittlement of cast duplex stainless steels in LWR systems. Metallurgical characterization and mechanical property data from Charpy-impact, tensile, and J-R curve tests are presented for several experimental and commercial heats, as well as for reactor-aged CF-3, CF-8, and CF-8M cast stainless steels. The effects of material variables on the embrittlement of cast stainless steels are evaluated. Chemical composition and ferrite morphology strongly affect the extent and kinetics of embrittlement. In general, the low-carbon CF-3 stainless steels are the most resistant and the molybdenum-containing high-carbon CF-8M stainless steels are most susceptible to embrittlement. The microstructural and mechanical-property data are analyzed to establish the mechanisms of embrittlement. The procedure and correlations for predicting the impact strength and fracture toughness of cast components during reactor service are described. The lower bound values of impact strength and fracture toughness for low-temperature-aged cast stainless steel are defined.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, March 14, 2016