Environmental Effects of High Temperature Sodium on Fatigue Crack Characteristics
Journal of the Society of Materials Science Japan
In order to study fatigue crack growth characteristics in the components used in liquid sodium, fatigue tests (FBRs). The factors influencing fatigue lifetime in sodium compared with that in air were investigated by observation of surface cracks in 316FR steel. Furthermore, the effects of sodium environment on fatigue were investigated based on examining the results of thermal striping tests, etc., obtained up to now. The results of the fatigue tests show that many micro cracks in the shearing
... ks in the shearing direction were produced by the midlifetime, and micro cracks connected quickly after that. This is because an oxidation film was not formed, since sodium is of a reductive nature, and strain of the material surface tends to distribute equally. During crack progression there is no oxide formed on broken surfaces. Therefore re-combination between broken surfaces takes place, and crack progression rate falls. Furthermore, in non-propagating crack, the wedge effect by oxide between broken surfaces at the time of compression is small. Therefore, the crack closure angle is small, compression strain generated in the crack tip becomes large, and the crack cannot stop easily. As mentioned above, the main sodium influence on the fatigue characteristics are because of its reductive nature. In summary, in sodium environment, it is hard to form a crack and to get it to grow. Once started, however, it is hard to stop the crack in sodium compared with in the case of the air.