Multiple cracking under thermal fatigue
Tests were performed on austenitic stainless steels. In order to investigate thermal fatigue resistance of quasi-structural specimens, test facilities enforcing temperature variations similar to those found under the operative conditions have been developed. Multiple cracking networks similar to those detected during in-service inspections have been reproduced. Experiments and simulations deal with crack initiation and crack growth. In the case of multiple cracking simulation, a Skelton's modelling has been used. A shielding effect between cracks is evidenced. It leads to a dramatic reduction of crack growth rate. Such effect is also crucial for the crack network stability under additional loading.
© La Revue de Métallurgie, 2004