Fatigue crack growth thresholds and da/dN-data at low ΔKI-values (<10 MPa√m) have been determined for type 304 stainless steel, nickel-base weld metal Alloy 182, nickel-base metal Alloy 600, and low-alloy steel in air at ambient temperature and in high-temperature water and steam. The stainless alloys have been tested in water with 0.2 ppm O2 at 288°C and the low-alloy steel in steam at 286°C. The fatigue crack growth threshold was defined as the ΔKI-value resulting in a crack growth rate of 10-7 mm per cycle. The measured fatigue crack growth thresholds (at frequencies from 0.5 to 20 Hz) are quite similar independent of the material and the environment.
A relatively inexpensive and time-saving method for measuring fatigue crack growth thresholds, and fatigue crack growth rates at low ΔKI-values, has been used in the tests. The method is a ΔKI-decreasing test with constant KIMax.
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