Reliability of reactor materials: Fracture mechanics

Kari Törrönen, Irina Aho-Mantila

Research output: Book/ReportReport


This report is the final technical report of the fracture mechanics part of the Reliability of Reactor Materials Programme, which was carried out at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) through the years 1981 to 1983. Research and development work was carried out in five major areas, viz. statistical treatment and modelling of cleavage fracture, crack arrest, ductile comparison of numerical and experimental elastic-plastic fracture mechanics. In the area of cleavage fracture the critical variables affecting the fracture of steels are considered in the frames of a statistical model, so called WST-model. Comparison of fracture toughness values predicted by the model and corresponding experimental values shows excellent agreement for a variety of micro-structures. Different possibilities for using the model are discussed. The development work in the area of crack arrest testing was concentrated in the crack starter properties, test arrangement and computer control. A computerized elastic-plastic fracture testing method with a variety of test specimen geometries in a large temperature range was developed for a routine stage. Ductile fracture characteristics of reactor pressure vessel steel A533B and comparable weld material are given. The features of a new, patented instrumented impact tester are described. Experimental and theoretical comparisons between the new and conventional testers indicated clearly the improvements achieved with the new tester. A comparison of numerical and experimental elastic-plastic fracture mechanics capabilities at VTT was carried out. The comparison consisted of two-dimensional linear elastic as well as elastic-plastic finite element analysis of four specimen geometries and equivalent experimental tests.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages155
ISBN (Print)951-38-2568-X
Publication statusPublished - 1986
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesValtion teknillinen tutkimuskeskus. Tutkimuksia - Research Reports


  • nuclear reactor materials
  • reliability
  • fracture properties


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