Elastic plastic fracture mechanics tests on different low-alloy reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels in air and various simulated light water reactor environments revealed a clear, but moderate reduction of the fracture initiation resistance of RPV steels with high susceptibility to dynamic strain ageing (DSA) in high-temperature water (HTW). In HTW, the reduction of fracture initiation resistance increased with decreasing loading rate and was most pronounced in hydrogenated HTW. The stronger reduction of fracture resistance in hydrogenated HTW was mainly due to the localization of plastic deformation by interaction between DSA and hydrogen.
- Dynamic strain ageing
- Fracture resistance reduction
- Hydrogen embrittlement
- Low-alloy steel