United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Effects of LWR Coolant Environments on Fatigue Design Curves of Austenitic Stainless Steels (NUREG/CR-5704, ANL-98/31)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: November 1998
Date Published:
April 1999

Prepared by:
O.K. Chopra

Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, Illinois 60439

M. McNeil, NRC Project Manager

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

NRC Job Code W6610

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Abstract

The ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code provides rules for the construction of nuclear power plant components. Figures I–9.1 through I–9.6 of Appendix I to Section III of the Code specify fatigue design curves for structural materials. While effects of reactor coolant environments are not explicitly addressed by the design curves, test data indicate that the Code fatigue curves may not always be adequate in coolant environments. This report summarizes work performed by Argonne National Laboratory on fatigue of austenitic stainless steels in light water reactor (LWR) environments. The existing fatigue S-N data have been evaluated to establish the effects of various material and loading variables such as steel type, dissolved oxygen level, strain range, strain rate, and temperature on the fatigue lives of these steels. Statistical models are presented for estimating the fatigue S-N curves as a function of material, loading, and environmental variables. Design fatigue curves have been developed for austenitic stainless steel components in LWR environments. The extent of conservatism in the design fatigue curves and an alternative method for incorporating the effects of LWR coolant environments into the ASME Code fatigue evaluations are discussed.

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