Structural safety is one of the most important issues associated with liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage systems, such as LNG carriers, LNG Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO), and Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU). One of the most common materials for the LNG storage systems has been 9% nickel steel over the last 50 years as it has excellent mechanical properties under cryogenic temperature. Recently, there have been efforts for lowering the nickel content due to the increased nickel price as well as the high price of nickel based welding consumables. In this respect, 7% nickel steels are recently developed for reducing the associated costs mainly for cryogenic applications. The newly developed 7% nickel steels are known to have improved toughness comparable to that of 9% nickel steels by thermomechanical control process (TMCP) and micro-alloying technology. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the fatigue performance of 7% nickel steels with a special attention to type B LNG carrier applications. Cyclic fatigue and fatigue crack growth rate (FCGR) tests for 7% nickel steels were conducted at room and cryogenic temperatures. Fatigue tests were carried out with three different types of specimens such as base metal, butt weld, and fillet weld to characterize the fatigue properties at various locations. In addition, FCGR tests were carried out using compact tension (C(T)) specimens. The difference of FCGR characteristics among base, weld, and heat affected zone (HAZ) is investigated. The fatigue and FCGR test results of 7% nickel steels are evaluated and compared with reference data of 9% nickel steel. Based on this study, it is observed that the 7% nickel steel exhibits similar fatigue performance in comparison with that of 9% nickel steel.

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