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Characterization of 304 Stainless Steel Crack Tips Exhibiting High Temperature Retardation in Deaerated Water

Understanding and mitigating stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in stainless steels used in light water reactors is important, and experimental efforts to characterize this behavior have been performed over the last several decades. While SCC growth has been shown to follow an Arrhenius temperature functionality, a departure from this functionality has been observed due to high temperature SCC growth rate retardation (HTR). This paper characterizes observed trends between different cold work levels and temperature effects on cracking behavior and crack tip morphologies in 304 stainless steel.

Product Number: ED22-18392-SG
Author: Robert Morris, Tyler Moss, David Morton, Kevin Fisher
Publication Date: 2022
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Stress corrosion crack growth rate (SCCGR) tests were conducted on cold worked 304 stainless steel (SS) in hydrogenated deaerated water at varied cold work levels and temperatures. Cracks at elevated temperatures exhibited non-Arrhenius crack growth rates, known as high temperature crack retardation (HTR). Electron microscopy was used to characterize the crack tips in several samples to evaluate characteristics and differences between HTR and non-HTR crack regimes. Characteristics of crack morphologies, nickel enrichment, chromium oxide formation, as well as crack tip deformation were found to vary between the cracking modes.


Stress corrosion crack growth rate (SCCGR) tests were conducted on cold worked 304 stainless steel (SS) in hydrogenated deaerated water at varied cold work levels and temperatures. Cracks at elevated temperatures exhibited non-Arrhenius crack growth rates, known as high temperature crack retardation (HTR). Electron microscopy was used to characterize the crack tips in several samples to evaluate characteristics and differences between HTR and non-HTR crack regimes. Characteristics of crack morphologies, nickel enrichment, chromium oxide formation, as well as crack tip deformation were found to vary between the cracking modes.