Lattice Strain Development in Inconel-690 under Bi-axial Compression and Tension
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Nuclear reactor steam generator tubes, manufactured from Nickel alloys such as Inconel 690 (INC690), are potentially susceptible to failure by Stress Corrosion Cracking where crack initiation may be exacerbated by internal stress fields. A more comprehensive understanding of this potential failure mechanism was gained via an exploration of a model of INC690’s behaviour under Constrained loading conditions in compression and tension. An Elasto-Plastic Self-Consistent (EPSC) model was used to predict the lattice stresses and strains resulting from Constrained loading in INC690 for four crystallographic planes. The internal strain fields generated under such conditions were shown to be markedly different from those developed under Uniaxial loading. Finite Element Modeling was used to design tensile and compression samples as well as a testing rig that would allow the application of a compressive load along one axis of the specimen with simultaneous constraint along another and free-deformation along the third. Lattice strain measurements were done for both compressive and tensile loading using Time-Of-Flight neutron diffraction. The predicted and experimental values showed reasonable agreement; mainly in terms of crystallographic plane interaction and behaviour. Iterative computer modeling was used to achieve a more realistic depiction of the lattice strains developed. This research allowed for an extension on the Uniaxial findings by examining the material’s behaviour under more complex loading that better approximates steam generator tube operating conditions.