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On the use of mini-CT specimens to define the Master Curve of unirradiated reactor pressure vessel steels with relatively high reference temperatures

Abstract: The safe operation of nuclear plants requires an accurate characterization of the fracture toughness of reactor pressure vessel materials, which can be reduced over time due to irradiation or thermal aging processes. This necessity is a challenge itself since the availability of specimens inside the surveillance capsules of the vessels is generally scarce. Therefore, innovative techniques have to be applied, in order to increase the reliability of fracture toughness measurements and at the same time to reduce the volume of material needed for the tests. In this paper, the Master Curve (MC) approach has been employed, combined with the use of mini-CT specimens made from two different reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels (ANP-5 and A533B LUS). The MC methodology allows the fracture toughness of the material to be evaluated by using a single parameter: the reference temperature, T0. This parameter has been previously estimated using mini-CT specimens in a number of unirradiated steels, most of them with relatively low T0 values (-120 ?C to ?? 60 ?C), providing satisfactory results. This paper adds further validation of the use of mini-CT specimens to define the T0 of unirradiated RPV steels with relatively high values of this parameter. Additionally, the analysis of the fracture surfaces confirms the existence of cleavage fracture following the weakest link theory (i.e., one single initiation point), as required by the Master Curve approach.

 Autoría: Sánchez M., Cicero S., Arroyo B., Cimentada A.,

 Fuente: Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics, 2023, 124, 103736

 Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 01/04/2023

 Nº de páginas: 11

 Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.tafmec.2022.103736

 ISSN: 0167-8442,1872-7638

 Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tafmec.2022.103736