There is a continuing need for reliable thermal fatigue analysis tools to ensure that high safety levels are maintained in the main coolant lines of light water reactors. To advance the accuracy and reliability of thermal fatigue load determination, a combined experimental and numerical investigation has been conducted on cylindrical components of 316L stainless steel subjected to cyclic thermal shocks of varying intensity. Slightly different experimental conditions were applied in each test to explore the effect of ΔTmax values of increasing severity, the effect of a superimposed static axial load and a reduced test piece wall thickness. Particular attention is given in this work to the influence of a constant tensile axial load on the quenching down shock damage. A comparison between thermal down-shock tests with and without additional constant tensile load is analysed in details here below.

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