Several methods of estimating strain range at a structural discontinuity have been developed in order to assess component reliability. In a component design at elevated temperature, estimation of strain range is required to evaluate the fatigue and creep-fatigue damage. Therefore, estimation of strain range is one of the most important issues when evaluating the integrity of a component during its lifetimes. To verify the methods of estimating strain range for discontinuous structures, low cycle fatigue tests were carried out with notched specimens. All the specimens were made of Mod.9Cr-1Mo steel, because it is a candidate material for a primary and secondary heat transport system components of Japan Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (JSFR). Displacement control fatigue tests and thermal fatigue tests were performed by ordinary uniaxial push–pull test machine and equipment generating the thermal gradient in the notched plate by induction heating. Several notch radii were employed to vary the stress concentration level in both kinds of tests. Crack initiation and propagation process during the tests were observed by a digital microscope and the replica method to define the failure cycles. Elastic and inelastic finite element analyses were also performed to estimate strain range for predicting fatigue life. Then, these predictions were compared with the test results. Several methods such as stress redistribution locus (SRL) method, simple elastic follow-up (SEF) method, Neuber's law, and the procedures employed by elevated temperature design codes were applied. Through these comparisons, the applicability and conservativeness of these strain range estimation methods, which is the basis of the fatigue and creep-fatigue life prediction, are discussed.

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