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Crack Tip Strain Rate Models for Environmentally-Assisted Fatigue Crack Growth in Light Water Reactor Environments

[+] Author Affiliations
Ernest Eason

Modeling & Computing Services LLC, Boulder, CO

Raj Pathania

Electric Power Research Institute, Inc., Palo Alto, CA

Paper No. PVP2016-63640, pp. V01AT01A026; 11 pages
  • ASME 2016 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 1A: Codes and Standards
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 17–21, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5035-0
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


This paper demonstrates the feasibility of using theoretically-motivated crack tip strain rate (CTSR) models to estimate environmentally-assisted fatigue (EAF) crack growth rate (CGR) in light water reactor (LWR) environments. Four models, each combining one of two CTSR expressions with one of two theoretical derivations from Faraday’s Law, were fitted to measured CGR data under dynamic loadings. The four models were compared with each other and with experimental crack growth data from examples where various austenitic stainless steel base metals and nickel-alloy welds were tested in LWR environments under EAF, periodic partial unloading (PPU) with various hold times, loading gradients with increasing and decreasing stress intensity factor K (±dK/da), and constant K loading. All four models produced good fits to the data on some examples, and the models using the newer derivation performed well on all examples. Default model parameters and an equation for the distance from the crack tip at which strain rate is estimated were successful in simplifying the application of the models. Both variable effects and measured CGR were well modeled. Advantages and issues of theoretically-based CTSR models are presented.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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