Propagation and arrest of cleavage cracks in a nuclear pressure vessel steel

Abstract : he safety of nuclear structures is crucial while the service time of nuclear power stations is planned to be extended up to 60 years. Initiation stage of cracks is still considered as a key issue, but more and more component integrity analyses investigate the crack arrest possibility. This study deals with physical mechanisms of cleavage crack propagation and numerical computations related to brittle fracture. Exper- iments using standard measuring techniques and a high-speed framing camera system, as well as Scan- ning Electron Microscope fracture surface analyses were carried out on thin CT specimens made of 16MND5 PWR vessel steel. The elastic-viscoplastic behavior of the ferritic steel has been studied and taken into account in numerical simulations. The eXtended Finite Element Method (X-FEM) is used in CAST3M finite element analysis software to model crack propagation. Numerical computations combine a local non-linear dynamic approach and a fracture criterion based on critical cleavage stress, whereas current standards in the nuclear field use a global static approach to fracture to depict crack initiation and arrest. The links of the criterion with temperature and strain rate are considered thanks to experi- ments, SEM fractographies and 2D computations in order to get a robust physical model which can be effective for model-based predictions of industrial structures.
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Soumis le : vendredi 29 mars 2013 - 16:23:01
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Amaury Bousquet, Stéphane Marie, Philippe Bompard. Propagation and arrest of cleavage cracks in a nuclear pressure vessel steel. Computational Materials Science, Elsevier, 2012, 64, pp.17 - 21. 〈10.1016/j.commatsci.2012.04.026〉. 〈hal-00806247〉



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