Characterisation of the fracture properties in the ductile to brittle transition region of the weld material of a reactor pressure vessel

Marc Scibetta, Diego Ferreño, Iñaki Gorrochategui, Roberto Lacalle, Eric van Walle, Martín Javier, Federico Gutiérrez-Solana

    Research outputpeer-review


    The tests consisted of Charpy impact and tensile tests, performed in the framework of the surveillance programme of the plant. Moreover, in the context of this research, K Jc fracture toughness tests on pre-cracked Charpy V notch specimens (evaluated according to the Master Curve methodology) together with some mini-tensile tests, were performed; non-irradiated and several irradiated material conditions were characterised. The analysis of the experimental results revealed some inconsistencies concerning the material embrittlement as measured through Charpy and K Jc fracture tests: in order to obtain an adequate understanding of the results, an extended experimental scope well beyond the regulatory framework was developed, including Charpy tests and K Jc fracture tests, both performed on reconstituted specimens. Moreover, Charpy specimens irradiated in the high flux BR2 material test reactor were tested with the same purpose. With this extensive experimental programme, a coherent and comprehensive description of the irradiation behaviour of the weld material in the transition region was achieved. Furthermore it revealed better material properties in comparison with the initial expectations based on the information obtained in the framework of the surveillance programme.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)25-40
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
    Issue number1-3
    StatePublished - Apr 2011

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