This article describes the experimental part of a project to develop a method for testing thermal shock combined with mechanical loading. The main objectives were to create the conditions for a major shock and to carry out the test in the laboratory using conventional equipment. The work focused on 16 MND 5 steel (A508) used for reactor vessels and on tearing close to the brittle/ductile transition temperature. The article is divided into two main parts:
The first describes how the properties of the material were determined. These properties were required for numerical simulations and for understanding the fracture mechanisms.
The second describes the test proposed using a specially-adapted compact specimen and the preliminary test results. It also describes the test potential, particularly the thermal gradients that can be obtained and the possible loading/temperature changes.
* CEA Saclay, ** IRSN Fontenay-aux-Roses,