This paper is concerned with the low-cycled fatigue life of S30408 austenitic stainless steel at 77 K. Strain-controlled low-cycled fatigue tests were performed in a liquid-nitrogen bath covering a strain-amplitude range of 0.4%–1.0%. The role of the reduced temperature is examined during the low-cycled fatigue tests by comparing the fatigue performance to the one at ambient temperature that was obtained in our previous work. It is found that the cryogenic low-cycled fatigue life is significantly improved by a factor of 5–10 in the low strain-amplitude range of 0.4%–0.5%, resulting from the pronounced hardening effect due to the low temperature. However, the cryogenic improvement gradually reduces with the increasing strain-amplitude. At 77 K, the cyclic stress amplitude increases rapidly at the beginning of the fatigue test, and no cyclic softening is found due to the cryogenically constrained movement of the dislocations. The fatigue hysteresis loops and fatigue stress-strain curves shows that the cyclic plastic strain at cryogenic temperature accounts for a limited proportion in the total cyclic strain, and the damage may occurs explosively at the beginning of the cyclic load at 77 K.

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