Titanium and niobium stabilized austenitic stainless steels X6CrNiTi18-10S (material number 1.4541, correspondent to Alloy 321) respectively X6CrNiNb18-10S (material number 1.4550, correspondent to Alloy 347) are widely applied materials in German nuclear power plant components. Related requirements are defined in Nuclear Safety Standard KTA 3201.1. Fatigue design analysis is based on Nuclear Safety Standard KTA 3201.2. The fatigue design curve for austenitic stainless steels in the current valid edition of KTA 3201.2 is essentially identical with the design curve included in ASME-BPVC III, App I (ed. 2007, add. July 2008 respectively back editions).

In the current code revision activities of KTA 3201.2 the compatibility of latest in air fatigue data for austenitic stainless steels with the above mentioned grades were examined in detail. The examinations were based on statistical evaluations of 149 strain controlled test data at room temperature and 129 data at elevated temperatures to derive best-fit mean data curves. Results of two additional load controlled test series (at room temperature and 288°C) in the high cycle regime were used to determine a technical endurance limit at 107 cycles. The related strain amplitudes were determined by consideration of the cyclic stress strain curve. The available fatigue data for the two austenitic materials at room temperature and elevated temperatures showed a clear temperature dependence in the high cycle regime demanding for two different best-fit curves. The correlation of the technical endurance limit(s) at room temperature and elevated temperatures with the ultimate strength of the materials is discussed.

Design fatigue curves were derived by application of the well known factors to the best-fit curves. A factor of SN = 12 was applied to load cycles correspondent to the NUREG/CR-6909 approach covering influences of data scatter, surface roughness, size and sequence. In terms of strain respectively stress amplitudes in the high cycle regime, for elevated temperatures (>80°C) a factor of Sσ = 1.79 was applied considering and combining in detail the partial influences of data scatter surface roughness, size and mean stress. For room temperature a factor of Sσ = 1.88 shall be applied.

As a result, new design fatigue curves for austenitic stainless steel grades 1.4541 and 1.4550 will be available within the German Nuclear Safety Standard KTA 3201.2. The fatigue design rules for all other austenitic stainless steel grades will be based on the new ASME-BPVC III, App I (ed. 2010) design curve.

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