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    Applications of Fracture Mechanics in Evaluating Initiation and Propagation of Brittle Fracture in Reactor Structural Components


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    Several fracture mechanics studies are being conducted to determine the effects of reactor environments and fabrication variables on the fracture characteristics of materials. Testing procedures have been developed for measuring the plane strain stress intensity for both crack initiation and arrest over a wide temperature range. Special techniques are described for evaluating the fracture toughness profile across the fusion and heat affected zone in postweld heat treated A302-B, the effects of neutron irradiation on the fracture toughness of Zircaloy-2, and the subcritical crack growth in a high strength steel. Data from these studies are presented, and the various applications of the data to reactor components through the use of fracture mechanics are discussed.


    radiation effects, metals, fracture mechanics, fracture toughness, nuclear reactors, cracking (fracturing), welded joints, zirconium alloys, steels, pressure vessels

    Author Information:

    Hoagland, R. G.
    Research engineer, Battelle Memorial Institute, Richland, Wash

    Bernent, A. L.
    Manager, Battelle Memorial Institute, Richland, Wash

    Rowe, R. G.
    Scientist, Battelle Memorial Institute, Richland, Wash

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP41328S