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Small compact-tension specimens of stainless steel German Industrial Standard (DIN) 1.4948, which is similar to American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Type 304, have been irradiated in the high flux reactor (HFR) at Petten up to a fluence level of 2 × 1024 n · m−2 (E > 0.1 MeV) at 823 K. Post-irradiation J-integral toughness tests have been performed with constant displacement rates ranging over four decades from 10−8 to 10−4 m · s−1 at the irradiation temperature.
The test method is based on a combination of the multiple-specimen interrupted loading method with the direct current potential drop technique (DCPD) for continuous monitoring of the crack length. The J,R curves, obtained by this method, show good reproducibility, and consequently the scatter of the J-toughness parameters is small.
The irradiation caused modest reduction, by about 30%, of the characteristic J-toughness parameters J0,3 and dJ/da at the displacement rate of 2 × 10−6 m · s−1. Low toughness values were measured at the lowest applied displacement rate. Results from additional tests showed that the effect of (slow) prior-fatigue loading at the low frequency of 10−2 Hz is minor compared to the effects of the lower displacement rates.
neutron irradiation, stainless steels, elevated temperature, elastic-plastic fracture mechanics, fracture tests, J, toughness, crack-growth resistance (, J,R, curve)
De Vries, MI
Research scientist, Netherlands Energy Research Foundation, ECN, ZG Petten