The mean stress effect on the fatigue life of type 316 stainless steel was investigated in simulated pressurized water reactor (PWR) primary water and air at 325 °C. The tests in air environment have revealed that the fatigue life was increased with application of the positive mean stress for the same stress amplitude because the strain range was decreased by hardening of material caused by increased maximum peak stress. On the other hand, it has been shown that the fatigue life obtained in simulated PWR primary water was decreased compared with that obtained in air environment even without the mean stress. In this study, type 316 stainless steel specimens were subjected to the fatigue test with and without application of the positive mean stress in high-temperature air and PWR water environments. First, the mean stress effect was discussed for high-temperature air environment. Then, the change in fatigue life in the PWR water environment was evaluated. It was revealed that the change in the fatigue life due to application of the mean stress in the PWR water environment could be explained in the same way as for the air environment. No additional factor was induced by applying the mean stress in the PWR water environment.

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