IAEA coordinated research project on master curve approach to monitor fracture toughness of RPV steels: Final results of the experimental exercise to support constraint effects

R.K. Nanstad, M. Brumovský, R.H. Callejas, F. Gillemot, M. Korshunov, B.S. Lee, E. Lucon, M. Scibetta, P. Minnebo, K.-F. Nilsson, N. Miura, K. Onizawa, T. Planman, W. Server, B. Burgos, M. Serrano, H.-W. Viehrig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The precracked Charpy single-edge notched bend, SE(B), specimen (PCC) is the most likely specimen type to be used for determination of the reference temperature, T0, with reactor pressure vessel (RPV) surveillance specimens. Unfortunately, for many RPV steels, significant differences have been observed between the T0 temperature for the PCC specimen and that obtained from the 25-mm thick compact specimen [1TC(T)], generally considered the standard reference specimen for T0. This difference in T0 has often been designated a specimen bias effect, and the primary focus for explaining this effect is loss of constraint in the PCC specimen. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has developed a coordinated research project (CRP) to evaluate various issues associated with the fracture toughness Master Curve for application to light-water RPVs. Topic Area 1 of the CRP is focused on the issue of test specimen geometry effects, with emphasis on determination of T0 with the PCC specimen and the bias effect. Topic Area 1 has an experimental part and an analytical part. Participating organizations for the experimental part of the CRP performed fracture toughness testing of various steels, including the reference steel JRQ (A533-B-1) often used for IAEA studies, with various types of specimens under various conditions. Additionally, many of the participants took part in a round robin exercise on finite element modeling of the PCVN specimen, discussed in a separate paper. Results from fracture toughness tests are compared with regard to effects of specimen size and type on the reference temperature T0. It is apparent from the results presented that the bias observed between the PCC specimen and larger specimens for Plate JRQ is not nearly as large as that obtained for Plate 13B (−11°C vs −37°C) and for some of the results in the literature (bias values as much as −45°C). This observation is consistent with observations in the literature that show significant variations in the bias that are dependent on the specific materials being tested. There are various methods for constraint adjustments and two methods were used that reduced the bias for Plate 13B from −37°C to −13°C in one case and to − 11°C in the second case. Unfortunately, there is not a consensus methodology available that accounts for the differences observed with different materials. Increasing the Mlim value in the ASTM E-1921 to ensure no loss of constraint for the PCC specimen is not a practicable solution because the PCC specimen is derived from CVN specimens in RPV surveillance capsules and larger specimens are normally not available. Resolution of these differences are needed for application of the master curve procedure to operating RPVs, but the research needed for such resolution is beyond the scope of this CRP.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASME 2009 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Volume3: Design and Analysis
ISBN (Print)978-0-7918-4366-6
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventASME 2009 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference, PVP 2009 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 26 Jul 200930 Jul 2009

Publication series

SeriesAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers. Pressure Vessels and Piping Division. Publication PVP


ConferenceASME 2009 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference, PVP 2009
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic


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