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The effects of specimen size, temperature, and irradiation on fracture toughness were studied in unirradiated compact tension specimens of Alloy A286 and HT-9 and irradiated specimens of 20% cold-worked Type 316 stainless steel. Techniques for specimen preparation and test procedures were developed using unirradiated specimens of A286 with the specimen size identical to that of irradiated specimens of 20% cold-worked Type 316 stainless steel. Fracture toughness tests on these precracked specimens were conducted at various temperatures, and test results were analyzed using the multiple specimen R-curve method. Owing to irradiation hardening and post-irradiation toughness degradation, sufficient constraint existed in thin irradiated specimens to permit the application of the J-integral approach. Analysis showed the absence of a significant size effect among the specimens tested and that the size requirements for an ASTM valid JIc test were satisfied, indicating that small specimens may be used for post-irradiation fracture toughness testing. The results are discussed in terms of size criteria for valid JIc determination and conditions for J-controlled crack growth.
fracture toughness, J, -integral, irradiation, stainless steel, specimen size effects, data validity, crack propagation
Senior Scientist, Westinghouse Hanford Company, Richland, WA