Fatigue lifetime assessment is essential in the design of structures. Under-estimated predictions may result in unnecessary in service inspections. Conversely, over-estimated predictions may have serious consequences on the integrity of structures.
In some nuclear power plant components, the fatigue loading may be equi-biaxial because of thermal fatigue. So the potential impact of multiaxial loading on the fatigue life of components is a major concern. Meanwhile, few experimental data are available on austenitic stainless steels. It is essential to improve the fatigue assessment methodologies to take into account the potential equi-biaxial fatigue damage. Hence this requires obtaining experimental data on the considered material with a strain tensor in equi-biaxial tension.
Two calibration tests (with strain gauges and image correlation) were used to obtain the relationship between the imposed deflection and the radial strain on the FABIME2 specimen. A numerical study has confirmed this relationship.
Biaxial fatigue tests are carried out on two austenitic stainless steels for different values of the maximum deflection, and with a load ratio equal to −1.
The interpretation of the experimental results requires the use of an appropriate definition of strain equivalent. In nuclear industry, two kinds of definition are used: von Mises and TRESCA strain equivalent.
These results have permitted to estimate the impact of the equibiaxiality on the fatigue life of components.