A Comparative Study of Fracture Toughness at Cryogenic Temperature of Austenitic Stainless Steel Welds

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The ITER magnet system is based on the "cable-in-conduit" conductor (CICC) concept, which consists of stainless steel jackets filled with superconducting strands. The jackets provide high strength, limited fatigue crack growth rate and fracture toughness properties to counteract the high stress imposed by, among others, electromagnetic loads at cryogenic temperature. Austenitic nitrogen-strengthened stainless steels have been chosen as base material for the jackets of the central solenoid and the toroidal field system, for which an extensive set of cryogenic mechanical property data are readily available. However, little is published for their welded joints, and their specific performance when considering different combinations of parent and filler metals. Moreover, the impact of post-weld heat treatments that are required for Nb3Sn formation is not extensively treated. Welds are frequently responsible for cracks initiated and propagated by fatigue during service, causing structural failure. It becomes thus essential to select the most suitable combination of parent and filler material and to assess their performance in terms of strength and crack propagation at operation conditions. An extensive test campaign has been conducted at 7 K comparing tungsten inert gas (TIG) welds using two fillers adapted to cryogenic service, EN 1.4453 and JK2LB, applied to two different base metals, AISI 316L and 316LN.
Austenitic stainless steel, Cryogenic, Fracture toughness, Secondary phases, Welding
Bibliographic citation
Aviles Santillana, I., Boyer, C., Fernandez Pison, P., Foussat, A., Langeslag, S. A. E., Perez Fontenla, A. T., Ruiz Navas, E. M., & Sgobba, S. (2018). A Comparative Study of Fracture Toughness at Cryogenic Temperature of Austenitic Stainless Steel Welds. Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance, 27(4), 1995–2002.