Crack propagation rate modelling for 316SS exposed to PWR-relevant conditions

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The crack propagation rate of Type 316 stainless steel in boric acid–lithium hydroxide solutions under PWR-relevant conditions was modelled. A film rupture/dissolution/repassivation mechanism is assumed and extended to cold worked materials by including a stress-dependent bare metal dissolution current density. The chemical and electrochemical conditions within the crack are calculated by finite element calculations, an analytical expression is used for the crack-tip strain rate and the crack-tip stress is assumed equal to 2.5 times the yield stress (plane-strain). First the model was calibrated against a literature published data set. Afterwards, the influence of various variables – dissolved hydrogen, boric acid and lithium hydroxide content, stress intensity, crack length, temperature, flow rate – was studied. Finally, other published crack growth rate tests were modelled and the calculated crack growth rates were found to be in reasonable agreement with the reported ones.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-285
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2009


  • stress corrosion cracking, modelling, crack growth, stainless steel

ID: 247664