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Apr 19 – 22, 2022
Vienna, Austria
Europe/Vienna timezone
FR22 starts in Vienna 19 - 22 April 2022 Online Stream:

Tensile testing of sub-sized T91 and 316L steel specimens in liquid lead

Apr 20, 2022, 11:52 AM
Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

ORAL Track 4. Fast Reactor Materials (Coolants, Structures) and Components 4.2 Structural, Novel, and Large Components Materials


Kamil Tucek (European Commission, Joint Research Centre)


The influence of liquid lead on mechanical properties of ferritic-martensitic steel T91 and austenitic stainless steel 316L have been studied in the JRC’s LIquid Lead LAboratory (LILLA). LILLA allows testing of mechanical and corrosion properties of materials in liquid lead with controlled dissolved oxygen concentrations and for temperatures up to 650°C. The load is generated by pneumatic bellow-based devices. For the present study, prior to tensile testing, polished sub-size flat and round tensile specimens were exposed in liquid lead at 450°C for at least 100h and at 500°C for at least 1000h. During this phase, the oxygen content dissolved in liquid lead was maintained below 10^-9 wt.%. The tensile tests on T91 were performed at 400°C in both argon and lead at an initial strain rate of 1x10^-4 s^-1. For 316L, specimens from both the base metal and the 75mm thick submerged arc welded (SAW) joint were cut out and tested. Tensile tests on 316L were conducted both at 400°C and 550°C at initial strain rates of 5x10^-5 s^-1 and 5x10^-6 s^-1, respectively. During all tensile tests, the content of oxygen dissolved in lead was monitored continuously and kept below 10^-8 wt.% with the cover gas control system implemented in LILLA (through flushing of Ar-H2 mixture). The test parameters were chosen based on outcomes of tests in lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE), where it had been demonstrated that mechanical properties of T91 are strongly influenced by strain rate, temperature, and oxygen content in LBE. The first LILLA post-test analysis have shown no evident impact of liquid Pb on the tensile properties of the investigated steels and welds exposed to the above-described conditions. The paper will address the observed results with respect to the literature data. This research supports resolution of key safety and licensing aspects related to structural materials and components for heavy liquid metal cooled fast reactor technology demonstrators considered in Europe, MYRRHA (with LBE coolant) and ALFRED (with lead coolant), and is embedded in the GEMMA Euratom Horizon 2020 collaborative project.

Country/Int. organization European Commision
Affiliation/Organization Joint Research Centre
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Primary authors

Kamil Tucek (European Commission, Joint Research Centre) Dr Zoltan Szaraz Dr Radek Novotny (European Commission, Joint Research Centre) Dr Karl-Fredrik Nilsson (European Commission, Joint Research Centre ) Mr Michal Novak (European Commission, Joint Research Centre ) Concetta Fazio (JRC)

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