A closer look at the fracture toughness of ferritic/martensitic steels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Enrico Lucon

Documents & links


SCK-CEN has characterized the mechanical properties of several ferritic/martensitic steels, both unirradiated and irradiated. Fracture toughness has been evaluated using Charpy impact and fracture mechanics tests. Two safety-related features have emerged: (a) the applicability of the master curve approach (ASTM E1921-05) appears questionable; and (b) irradiation embrittlement is systematically larger when quantified in terms of quasi-static fracture toughness than when measured from Charpy tests. Both issues are examined in detail and possible interpretations are proposed; potential improvements given by the application of more advanced fracture toughness analysis methodologies are discussed. In order to clarify whether the Charpy/fracture toughness difference in embrittlement is due to loading rate effects, dynamic toughness tests have been performed in the unirradiated condition and for two irradiation doses (0.3 and 1.6 dpa). The corresponding dynamic T0 shifts have been compared with the shifts of Charpy and master curve quasi-static transition temperatures. Other possible contributions are examined and discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-580
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Volume367-370, Part 1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2007


  • Fracture toughness, ferritic-martensitic steels

ID: 91348