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Tensile Tests at 77 K and 4 K on 316L Stainless Steel Welded Plates



Dash Weeks, Nicholas Derimow, Jake Benzing


Based on the collaborative framework established between ASME, NASA, and NIST, quasi-static tensile tests were performed in liquid nitrogen (77 K) and liquid helium (4 K) on tensile specimens extracted from the centers of four welded 316L stainless steel plates, each produced by a different vendor. Relatively large differences in strength, elongation, and reduction in area were observed between the welds with the strongest two welds (W4 and W2) exhibiting a nearly 20 % difference in 4 K ultimate tensile strength when compared to the welds with the lowest 4 K tensile strength (W1 and W3). As the testing temperature decreases from 77 K to 4 K, all welds exhibit an increase in yield strength, plus an attenuation in total elongation and reduction in area. Serrated yielding was observed at every test conducted at 4 K. The tensile properties reported in this work will be used during analysis of future fracture toughness (single edge notch bending) testing conducted at 77 K and 4 K on the same four sets of welded plates.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 2229
Report Number


316L stainless steel, welding, tensile properties, liquid nitrogen, liquid helium


Weeks, D. , Derimow, N. and Benzing, J. (2022), Tensile Tests at 77 K and 4 K on 316L Stainless Steel Welded Plates, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed March 1, 2024)
Created July 19, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022