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Micromechanical Modeling of Brittle Fracture of French RPV Steel: A Comprehensive Study of Stress Triaxiality Effect

[+] Author Affiliations
Jean-Philippe Mathieu

EDF R&D, Moret-sur-Loing, France

Olivier Diard

EDF-CNPE de Penly, Penly, France

Karim Inal

Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne, Saint-Étienne, France

Sophie Berveiller

ENSAM CER de Metz, Metz, France

Paper No. PVP2008-61334, pp. 993-1002; 10 pages
  • ASME 2008 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 6: Materials and Fabrication, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 27–31, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4829-6
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


The present study describes a multiscale representation of mechanisms involved in brittle fracture of a french Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) steel (16MND5 equ. ASTM A508 Cl.3) at low temperatures. Attention will be focused on the representation of stress heterogeneities inside the ferritic matrix during plastic straining, which is considered as critical for further micromechanical approach of brittle fracture. This representation is tuned on experimental results [1]. Modeling involves micromechanical a description of plastic glide, a mean field (MF) model and a realistic three-dimensional aggregates Finite Element (FE) simulation, all put together inside a multiscale approach. Calibration is done on macroscopic stress-strain curves at different low temperatures, and modeling reproduces experimental stress heterogeneities. This modeling allows to apply a local micromechanical fracture criterion of crystallographic cleavage for triaxial loadings on the Representative Volume Element (RVE). Deterministic computations of time to fracture for different carbide sizes random selection provide a probability of fracture for an Elementary Volume (EV) consistant with the local approach. Results are in good agreement with hypothesis made by local approach to fracture. Hence, the main difference is that no phenomenological dependence on loading or microstructure is supposed for probability of fracture on the EV: this dependence is naturally introduced by the micromechanical description.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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