The mean stress effect on the fatigue life of Type 316 stainless steel was investigated at 325°C in simulated PWR primary water. It was shown that, as shown in high-temperature air environment, the fatigue life was extended by applying the mean stress under the same stress amplitude. An increase in the maximum peak stress by applying the mean stress induced additional plastic strain and this hardened the material. On the other hand, the fatigue life was shortened by the mean stress for the same strain range. The ratcheting strain caused by applying mean stress accelerated crack mouth opening and reduced fatigue life. It was also shown that the fatigue life in the simulated PWR primary water was shorter than that in air even without the mean stress. The magnitude of the reduction depended on the strain range. The reduction in fatigue life was the maximum when the strain range was 0.6%. The environmental effect disappeared when the effective strain was less than 0.4%.

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