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Title: Lüders bands in RPV Steel
Author: Johnson, David H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 4265
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2012
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The R6 procedure is used for the prevention and prediction of crack behaviour and other defects in the reactor pressure vessel(RPV). The RPV material is an upper-bainitic, low alloy steel structure, which deforms inhomogeneously when yielding. The current codes that are used to design and calculate the fracture, within an RPV, assume that the material yields continuously as the size of the L¨uders strain is less than 2%. However, the work of Wenman et al[1] has shown that the inclusion of a L¨uders band during calculations can reduce the residual stress in a material, when compared to standard work-hardening models and, consequently, reduces the amount of conservatism. The objective of the research was to determine whether Wenman’s finding could be generalised and therefore initiate a re-evaluation of R6 procedure, when looking into materials that yield discontinuously. This required further investigation into L¨uders bands, such as using failure assessment diagrams (FADs). The findings from FADs showed that at the temperature range for an RPV steel at -155±C for different micro-structures (assuming that the material deforms homogeneously), this reduced the amount of conservatism. However, at fracture toughness values more representative of room temperature behaviour, the converse was true. That is, assuming a discontinuous yield point reduced the amount of conservatism. It was also shown that the tempered martensite structure could be used as an alternative to the current upper bainitic, low alloy steel that is used in RPVs. Further insight is gained into the nature of a L¨uders band, by developing a theoretical model that showed explicit relations between L¨uders strain and the mean free-path(ferrite path), dislocation density and the grain-size. It was also shown that an explicit relation between the L¨uders strain and carbon content was possible from known data, which a new parameter Á was derived, and is the derivative of the work-hardening exponent with respect to the lower yield stress.
Supervisor: Edwards, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Reactor pressure vessel ; Cracking ; Fracture