The update of the ASME III design fatigue curve for stainless steel in conjunction with the Fen model described in the NUREG/CR-6909 report has been criticized since publication. Data used to develop curves and models raises more questions than it answers.

Material testing in a simulated light water reactor environment is difficult due to the temperature and pressure involved. The experimental challenge makes it tempting to take shortcuts where they should least be taken. Facing and overcoming the challenges, direct strain-controlled fatigue testing has been performed at VTT using a unique tailored-for-purpose EAF facility. The applicable ASTM standards E 606 and E1012 are followed to provide results that are directly compatible with ASME Code Section III.

Several earlier PVP papers (PVP2016-63291, PVP2017-65374) report lower than calculated experimental Fen factors for stabilized stainless steels. In this paper new results, in line with the previous years’ conclusions, are presented for nonstabilized AISI 304L tested with dual strain rate waveforms.

To model environmental effects more accurately, an approach accounting for the damaging effect of plastic strain is proposed. A draft Fen model, similar in structure to the NUREG model but with additional parameters, is shown to significantly improve the accuracy of Fen prediction.

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