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Application of the Master Curve approach to fracture mechanics characterisation of reactor pressure vessel steel
Viehrig, H.-W.; Zurbuchen, C.; Schindler, H.-J.; Kalkhof, D.
Abstract: The paper presents results of a research project founded by the Swiss Federal Nuclear Inspectorate concerning the application of the Master Curve approach in nuclear reactor pressure vessels integrity assessment. The main focus is put on the applicability of pre-cracked 0.4T-SE(B) specimens with short cracks, the verification of transferability of MC reference temperatures T0 from 0.4T thick specimens to larger specimens, ascertaining the influence of the specimen type and the test temperature on T0, investigation of the applicability of specimens with electroerosive notches for the fracture toughness testing, and the quantification of the loading rate and specimen type on T0. The test material is a forged ring of steel 22 NiMoCr 3 7 of the uncommissioned German pressurized water reactor Biblis C.
SE(B) specimens with different overall sizes (specimen thickness B=0.4T, 0.8T, 1.6T, 3T, fatigue pre-cracked to a/W=0.5 and 20% side-grooved) have comparable T0. T0 varies within the 1σ scatter band. The testing of C(T) specimens results in higher T0 compared to SE(B) specimens. It can be stated that except for the lowest test temperature allowed by ASTM E1921-09a, the T0 values evaluated with specimens tested at different test temperatures are consistent. The testing in the temperature range of T0 ± 20 K is recommended because it gave the highest accuracy. Specimens with a/W=0.3 and a/W=0.5 crack length ratios yield comparable T0. The T0 of EDM notched specimens lie 41 K up to 54 K below the T0 of fatigue pre-cracked specimens. A significant influence of the loading rate on the MC T0 was observed. The HSK AN 425 test procedure is a suitable method to evaluate dynamic MC tests. The reference temperature T0 is eligible to define a reference temperature RTTo for the ASME-KIC reference curve as recommended in the ASME Code Case N-629. An additional margin has to be defined for the specific type of transient to be considered in the RPV integrity assessment. This margin also takes into account the level of available information of the RPV to be assessed.
Keywords: reactor pressure vessel steel, fracture toughness, Master Curve approach, specimen size, constraint, loading rate, reactor pressure vessel integrity assessment
  • Open Access LogoWissenschaftlich-Technische Berichte / Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf; FZD-536 2010
    ISSN: 1437-322X

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