For elevated temperature structures such as fast breeder reactor components, inelastic deformation is likely to occur because of reduction of yield stress and occurrence of creep deformation. The typical failure modes for elevated temperature structures are excessive deformation caused by the accumulation of inelastic deformation and creep fatigue caused by inelastic strain concentration at structure discontinuities. In order to prevent such failures, it is necessary to evaluate inelastic deformation adequately.

Thermal ratchet deformation, namely the progressive plastic deformation induced by cyclic thermal stress with uniform primary stress, has some possibility resulting in excessive deformation. ASME boiler & pressure vessel code provides elastic evaluation methods for thermal ratchet. However, these methods are so focused on preventing thermal ratchet deformation, that it could be too conservative under some conditions. Therefore, a simplified elastic evaluation method to quantify thermal ratchet deformation is desired.

In this paper, the simplified prediction method for thermal ratchet deformation is proposed using parallel bar model, which represents stress redistribution mechanism of cylindrical vessels. The solution of thermal ratchet deformation of parallel bar model was derived and compared with FEM calculation results of cylindrical vessels. This theoretical solution is proposed as a prediction method for thermal ratchet deformation of cylindrical vessels. The applicable area of the proposed prediction method is the cylindrical vessel under linear and parabolic temperature distribution through the wall thickness.

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