China Low Activation Martensitic (CLAM) steel is considered to be the main candidate material for the first wall components of future fusion reactors in China. In this paper, the low cycle fatigue (LCF) behavior of CLAM steel is studied under fully reversed tension–compression loading at 823 K in air. Total strain amplitude was controlled from 0.14% to 1.8% with a constant strain rate of 2.4×10−3 s−1. The corresponding plastic strain amplitude ranged from 0.023% to 1.613%. The CLAM steel displayed continuous softening to failure at 823 K. The relationship between strain, stress and fatigue life was obtained using the parameters obtained from fatigue tests. The LCF properties of CLAM steel at 823 K followed Coffin–Manson relationship. Furthermore, irregular serration was observed on the stress–strain hysteresis loops of CLAM steel tested with the total strain amplitude of 0.45–1.8%, which was attributed to the dynamic strain aging (DSA) effect. During continuous cyclic deformation, the microstructure and precipitate distribution of CLAM steel changed gradually. Many tempered martensitic laths were decomposed into subgrains, and the size and number of M23C6 carbide and MX carbonitride precipitates decreased with the increase of total strain amplitude. The response cyclic stress promoted the recovery of martensitic lath, while the thermal activation mainly played an important role on the growth of precipitates in CLAM steel at 823 K. In order to have a better understanding of high-temperature LCF behavior, the potential mechanisms controlling stress–strain response, DSA phenomenon and microstructure changes have also been evaluated.
- Electron microscopy
- Mechanical Characterization