SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1999

The Effects of Constraint, Loading Rate and Irradiation on the Toughness-Temperature Behavior of a V-4Cr-4Ti Alloy


The influence of loading rate and constraint on the effective fracture toughness as a function of temperature [Ke(T)] of the fusion program heat of V-4Cr-4Ti was measured using subsized, three point bend specimens. The constitutive behavior was characterized as a function of temperature and strain rate using small tensile specimens. Data in the literature on this alloy was also analyzed to determine the effect of irradiation on Ke(T) and the energy temperature (E-T) curves measured in subsized Charpy V-notch tests. It was found that V-4Cr-4Ti undergoes “normal” stress-controlled cleavage fracture below a temperature marking a sharp ductile-to-brittle transition. The transition temperature is increased by higher loading rates, irradiation hardening and triaxial constraint. Shifts in a reference transition temperature due to higher loading rates and irradiation can be reasonably predicted by a simple equivalent yield stress model. These results also suggest that size and geometry effects, which mediate constraint, can be modeled by combining local critical stressed area σ*/A* fracture criteria with finite element method simulations of crack tip stress fields. The fundamental understanding reflected in these models will be needed to develop Ke(T) curves for a range of loading rates, irradiation conditions, structural size scales and geometries relying (in large part) on small specimen tests. Indeed, it may be possible to develop a master Ke(T) curve-shift method to account for these variables. Such reliable and flexible failure assessment methods are critical to the design and safe operation of defect tolerant vanadium structures.

Author Information

Odette, GR
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
Donahue, E
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
Lucas, GE
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
Sheckherd, JW
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
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Developed by Committee: E10
Pages: 1089–1108
DOI: 10.1520/STP13922S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5395-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2614-5