May 1988

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


Oregon Graduate Center


The current state-of-the-art to quantitatively measure and model sensitization development in austenitic stainless steels is assessed and critically analyzed. A modeling capability is evolved and validated using a diverse experimental data base. Quantitative predictions are demonstrated for simple and complex thermal and thermomechanical treatments. Commercial stainless steel heats ranging from high-carbon Type 304 and 316 to low-carbon Type 304L and 316L have been examined including many heats which correspond to extra-low-carbon, nuclear-grade compositions. Within certain limits the electrochemical potentiokinetic reactivation (EPR) test was found to give accurate and reproducible measurements of the degree of sensitization (DOS) in Type 304 and 316 stainless steels. EPR test results are used to develop the quantitative data base and evolve/validate the quantitative modeling capability. This thesis represents a first step to evolve methods for the quantitative assessment of structural reliability in stainless steel components and weldments. Assessments will be based on component-specific information concerning material characteristics, fabrication history and service exposure. Methods will enable fabrication (e.g., welding and repair welding) procedures and material aging effects to be evaluated and ensure adequate cracking resistance during the service lifetime of reactor components. This work is being conducted by the Oregon Graduate Center with interactive input from personnel at Pacific Northwest Laboratory.





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