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Theses

Critère de propagation et d'arrêt de fissure de clivage dans un acier de cuve REP

Abstract : The purpose of this PhD thesis is to understand physical mechanisms of cleavage crack propagation and arrest in the 16MND5 PWR vessel steel and to propose a robust predicting model based on a brittle fracture experimental campaign of finely instrumented laboratory specimens associated with numerical computations. First, experiments were carried out on thin CT25 specimens at five temperatures (-150°C, -125°C, - 100°C, -75°C, -50°C). Two kinds of crack path, straight or branching path, have been observed. To characterize crack propagation and to measure crack speed, a high-speed framing camera system was used, combined with the development of an experimental protocol which allowed to observe CT surface without icing inside the thermal chamber and on the specimen. The framing camera (520 000 fps) has allowed to have a very accurate estimation of crack speed on the complete ligament of CT (~ 25 mm). Besides, to analyse experiments and to study the impact of viscosity on the mechanical response around the crack tip, the elastic-viscoplastic behavior of the ferritic steel has been studied up to a strain rate of 104 s-1 for the tested temperatures.The eXtended Finite Element Method (X-FEM) was used in CAST3M FE software to model crack propagation. Numerical computations combine a local non linear dynamic approach with a RKR type fracture stress criterion to a characteristic distance. The work carried out has confirmed the form of the criterion proposed by Prabel at -125°C, and has identified the dependencies of the criterion on temperature and strain rate. From numerical analyzes in 2D and 3D, a multi-temperature fracture stress criterion, increasing function of the strain rate, was proposed. Predictive modeling were used to confirm the identified criterion on two specimen geometries (CT and compressive ring) in mode I at different temperatures. SEM observations and 3D analyzes made with optical microscope showed that the fracture mechanism was the cleavage associated with ductile shear zones between the different planes of cracking. The study of the surface fraction of ductile shear zones and associated closing stress tends to justify the established criterion. An analytical model is proposed to justify the criterion deduced from numerical modeling. This model assumes that the ligaments hold the crack lips and therefore induce closing stress at the crack tip which has to be compensated to achieve the effective cleavage stress at the crack tip. This resistance of ligaments is directly related to the mechanical behavior of the material and justifies the dependence of fracture stress criterion with strain rate. Lastly, the crack branching was analyzed thanks to movies obtained with the high-speed camera. The cleavage crack propagates in a straight way over few millimeters. Then, new cracks appear on both sides of the initial crack lips which leads to the arrest of the initial crack. One of the new cracks leads to the failure of the CT specimen. The essential role of the thickness and loading on this branching mechanism is emphasized. The increased thickness reduces the frequency of occurrence of this mechanism and eventually even cancel. Low thicknesses lead to more extensive plasticity at the crack tip and generates the germs for the triggering of secondary cracks that appear. Logically, the intensity of loading must be large enough to create this extended plastic zone : the experiments with a straight path are the tests for which the initial loadings are the lowest.
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Amaury Bousquet. Critère de propagation et d'arrêt de fissure de clivage dans un acier de cuve REP. Autre. Ecole Centrale Paris, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013ECAP0002⟩. ⟨tel-00927524⟩

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