Fatigue accumulation is one of the ageing phenomena considered in the plant design and maintenance. The degree of fatigue damage is evaluated by cumulative usage factor using design fatigue curve, which is determined from results of uniaxial fatigue tests. The stress caused by thermal transients is generally equibiaxial, not uniaxial. Fluid temperature fluctuation due to changes in plant conditions, such as plant start-up and shutdown, is the primary cause of fatigue damage. For accurate fatigue damage evaluation, it is important to be conducted under equi-biaxial condition.

In this study, pressurized disc fatigue test was conducted in order to simulate the cyclic equi-biaxial stress. In order to clarify how the crack initiates and grows under the equi-biaxial stress condition. Cracking behavior was examined by replica observation method. The crack growth rates were identified by the change in the crack length. It was shown that the fatigue crack growth rate under equi-biaxial stress was faster than that under uniaxial stress for the same equivalent stress intensify factor. It was concluded that the reduction in the fatigue life under equi-biaxial stress was brought about by the accelerated crack growth.

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