Effect of Thermal Aging on SCC, Material Properties and Fracture Toughness of Stainless Steel Weld Metals

TitleEffect of Thermal Aging on SCC, Material Properties and Fracture Toughness of Stainless Steel Weld Metals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLucas, T, Ballinger, R, Hanninen, H, Saukkonen, T
Secondary AuthorsBusby, JT, Ilevbare, G, Andresen, PL
Journal15th International Conference on Environmental Degradation of Materials
Pagination883 - 900
Date Published2011///
Abstract

An experimental program has been conducted in order to understand how the spinodal decomposition may affect material properties changes in Type 316L BWR pipe weld metals. The program includeed Charpy-V, tensile, SCC crack growth and in-situ fracture toughness testing as a function of aging time and temperature. In this paper we report results of fracture toughness, SCC crack growth rate and fracture morphology studies of Type 316L stainless steel weld metals under simulated BWR conditions, consisting of 288 degrees C, high purity water containing 300 ppb dissolved oxygen (defined for purposes of this paper as "In-Situ"). SCC crack growth results show an approximately 2X increase in crack growth rate over that of the unaged material. In-situ fracture toughness measurements indicate that environmental exposure can result in a reduction of toughness by up to 40% over the corresponding at-temperature air values. Detailed analysis of the results strongly suggest that spinodal decomposition is responsible for the degradation in properties measured ex-environment. Analysis of the results also strongly suggests that the in-situ properties degradation is the result of hydrogen absorbed by the material during exposure to the high temperature aqueous environment.