Flaws encountered in nuclear pressure tubes must be evaluated to ensure that a delayed hydride cracking (DHC) mechanism is not initiated where the stress concentration at a flaw tip causes diffusion of hydrogen and precipitation of zirconium hydride at the flaw tip. A fracture initiation model for DHC involves a process zone description for the interaction of hydride precipitation with the flaw tip stress distribution. Analytical techniques for this model are practical and accurate for two-dimensional geometry, but cannot be easily applied to the three-dimensional features of finite length surface flaws. Recently, a numerical rendition of the model has been incorporated into a finite element program so that arbitrary geometry and material properties can be managed. The three-dimensional finite length model is applied to specific flaw geometries used in an experimental program. Comparison with corresponding two-dimensional tests demonstrates that the finite length flaw has a significantly higher threshold load than that predicted on the basis of a two-dimensional model.
Fracture Behavior of Finite Length Part Through Wall Flaws in Zirconium-Niobium Pressure Tubes
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Metzger, DR, Shek, GK, & Ho, ETC. "Fracture Behavior of Finite Length Part Through Wall Flaws in Zirconium-Niobium Pressure Tubes." Proceedings of the ASME 2006 Pressure Vessels and Piping/ICPVT-11 Conference. Volume 2: Computer Technology. Vancouver, BC, Canada. July 23–27, 2006. pp. 33-40. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/PVP2006-ICPVT-11-93663
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