The mechanics of creep crack growth in a Magnox alloy

  • Neil Trigwell

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Magnox AL80 has been used for a study of creep crack propagation. A number of variables have been considered such as specimen geometry,notch root radius, material thickness, creep prestrain and stress level.The work has covered the material behaving under two values of the creep exponent, n=3.5 and n=7, according to the stress level.

    As well as observing initiation times and crack growth rates, scribed grids have been used to examine the near crack tip strain levels and distributions. It was shown that estimations of COD from notch flank opening can give misleading indications of material behaviour and that a more informative method was to monitor displacements in the material surrounding the crack tip. Strong evidence was found for crack advance being displacement controlled, however it was shown that the COD approach should be considered geometry dependant. The summation of ∈xx and ∈yy provided the most successful description of crack advance as it produced a single value that described propagation in all the cases concidered.

    The strain distributions indicates that σyy was related to distance from a point ahead of the crack tip by the exponent - (l/n+l) and that σxx is proportional to σyy. The constraint stresses arising in the DEN and CN specimens were evaluated.

    Initiation time was found to be principally affected by the stress level but was modified by the constraints arising from specimen geometry. Crack growth was found not to obey either the empirical K or σpett relationships but was reviewed in context of the observed strain behaviour.
    Date of AwardOct 1979
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJ.T. Barnby (Supervisor)


    • Magnox AL80
    • creep crack growth
    • strain distribution
    • displacement control

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