The Influence of High Temperature Sodium, Vacuum and Argon Environments on Aisi 316 Stainless Steel Bolted Assemblies
Contacts involving metal alloys will be widespread in any fast reactor system. As high temperature reactor-grade sodium is expected to remove surface films and traces of grease, adhesion and self-welding of contacting surfaces could complicate the design of couplings. Alternatively, the process of self-welding would have advantages to fatigue damaged components especially if loaded under compressive stress. A number of workers, including Jerman, Williams and Leesar (1) and Bendorf (2), have found evidence of self-welding with several combinations of contacting alloys in high temperature sodium. Huber and Mattes (3) and Chang et al (4) reported self-welding in alloy couples which included combinations of AISI 304 stainless steel, Stellites 156 and 6 and Inconel 718. For in-sodium tests at temperatures > 838 K for times approaching 4,400 h under compressive loading stresses of 27.5-110 MNm−2, subsequent separation stresses ranged from 6.9 to 30.9 MNm−2. Although there is no reported evidence of welding below temperatures of 838 K, no tests have lasted longer than ~ 4,400 h. In general, the extent and strength of the metal bond was inversely related to material strength and increased with temperature, time and contact pressure.
KeywordsFatigue Nickel Zirconium Welding Chromium
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