Stress corrosion cracking susceptibility of austenitic stainless steels in supercritical water conditions

R. Novotny (Corresponding Author), P. Hähner, J. Siegl, P. Hausild, S. Ripplinger, Sami Penttilä, Aki Toivonen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    The presented paper summarizes the results of general corrosion and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) susceptibility tests in supercritical water (SCW), studied for austenitic stainless steel 316L, with the aim to identify maximum SCW temperature usability and specific failure mechanisms prevailing during slow strain-rate tensile (SSRT) tests in ultra-pure demineralized SCW solution with controlled oxygen content. The general corrosion tests clearly revealed the applicability of austenitic stainless steel in SCW to be limited to 550 °C as maximum temperature as oxidation rates of austenitic stainless steels 316L increase dramatically above 550 °C. The SSRT tests were performed using a step-motor controlled loading device in an autoclave at 550 °C SCW. Besides the strain rate (resp. crosshead speed), the oxygen content was varied in the series of tests. The obtained results showed that even at the lowest strain rate, a serious increase of SCC susceptibility, as typically characterized by IGSCC crack growth, was not observed. The fractography confirmed that failure was due to a combination of transgranular SCC and transgranular ductile fracture. Based on fractographic findings a phenomenological map describing the SCC regime of SSRT test parameters could be proposed for AISI 316L.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)117-123
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
    EventIAEA-EC Topical Meeting on Development of New Structural Materials for Advanced Fission and Fusion Reactor Materials, TR-37435 - Barcelona, Spain
    Duration: 5 Oct 20099 Oct 2009


    • SCW
    • Corrosion
    • SCC
    • SSRT
    • general corrosion


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