United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Effects of LWR Coolant Environments on Fatigue Design Curves of Carbon and Low-Alloy Steels (NUREG/CR-6583, ANL-97/18)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: November 1997
Date Published:
February 1998

Prepared by:
O.K. Chopra, W.J. Shack

Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, Illinois 60439

M. McNeil, NRC Project Manager

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

NRC Job Code W6610

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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 carbon and low-alloy 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, temperature, orientation, and sulfur content on the fatigue life of these steels. Statistical models have been developed for estimating the fatigue S-N curves as a function of material, loading, and environmental variables. The results have been used to estimate the probability of fatigue cracking of reactor components. The different methods for incorporating the effects of LWR coolant environments on the ASME Code fatigue design curves are presented.

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