United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Crack Growth Rates and Metallographic Examinations of Alloy 600 and Alloy 82/182 from Field Components and Laboratory Materials Tested in PWR Environments (NUREG/CR-6964)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2008
Date Published: May 2008

Prepared by:
B. Alexandreanu, O.K. Chopra, and W. J. Shack

Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, IL 60439

S. Crane and H.J. Gonzalez, NRC Project Managers

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

NRC Job Code Y6388

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Abstract

In light water reactors, components made of nickel-base alloys are susceptible to environmentally assisted cracking. This report summarizes the crack growth rate results and related metallography for field and laboratory-procured Alloy 600 and its weld alloys tested in pressurized water reactor (PWR) environments. The report also presents crack growth rate (CGR) results for a shielded-metal-arc weld of Alloy 182 in a simulated PWR environment as a function of temperature between 290°C and 350°C. These data were used to determine the activation energy for crack growth in Alloy 182 welds. The tests were performed by measuring the changes in the stress corrosion CGR as the temperatures were varied during the test. The difference in electrochemical potential between the specimen and the Ni/NiO line was maintained constant at each temperature by adjusting the hydrogen overpressure on the water supply tank. The CGR data as a function of temperature yielded activation energies of 252 kJ/mol for a double-J weld and 189 kJ/mol for a deep-groove weld. These values are in good agreement with the data reported in the literature. The data reported here and those in the literature suggest that the average activation energy for Alloy 182 welds is on the order of 220-230 kJ/mol, higher than the 130 kJ/mol commonly used for Alloy 600. The consequences of using a larger value of activation energy for SCC CGR data analysis are discussed.

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