Degradation of nuclear pressure vessel steel materials, 15Kh2NMFA type and A508 Cl2 type (definition is given in the text) were investigated by a novel magnetic nondestructive testing method, so-called Magnetic Adaptive Testing (MAT), which is based on systematic measurement and evaluation of minor magnetic hysteresis loops. The measured samples were thermally treated by a special step cooling procedure, which generated structural changes in the material. It was found that this type of degradation can be easily followed by magnetic measurements. Charpy impact test were also performed and the results were compared with the magnetic parameters. In case of 15Kh2NMFA steel, a good, reliable and closely linear correlation was found between magnetic descriptors and transition temperature.
Keywords: magnetic adaptive testing; magnetic nondestructive evaluation; nuclear reactor pressure vessel; steel degradation.