SMALL-SCALE MECHANICAL TESTING OF NUCLEAR STRUCTURAL MATERIALS


11th International Conference on CANDU® Maintenance and Nuclear Components - 2017 Oct. 01-04

Presented at:
11th International Conference on CANDU® Maintenance and Nuclear Components
2017 Oct. 01-04
Location:
Toronto, ON Canada
Session Title:
Material Properties and Degradation

Authors:
C. Judge (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
V. Bhakhri (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
C. Dixon (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
C. Mayhew (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
C. Howard (University of California, Berkeley)
P. Hosemann (University of California, Berkeley)
  

Abstract

Material property changes due to harsh reactor environment conditions, such as neutron irradiation, high temperature, and heat transfer media, may limit the performance and the operating envelopes of all reactor types. Quantitative information on the material properties changes is needed to support on-going life extension/ life management efforts of the existing global fleet, as well as for design and development of future advanced reactor concepts. Testing of larger radioactive test specimens is challenging and expensive as it requires their handling and testing in shielded facilities. Testing smaller sized specimens has an advantage in terms of their reduced activity; hence safer handling and cost effectiveness. In this presentation, examples of various small-scale, ex-situ and in-situ SEM, mechanical testing techniques, being developed at CNL, and in collaboration with UC Berkeley will be discussed. The applications of nano/micro indentation, micro-compression and micro-tensile testing to acquire local and bulk properties measurement in structural nuclear materials are being explored, with an aim to extend their use to characterize radioactive specimens extracted from reactor components. In particular, small-scale mechanical testing of isolated interfaces in unirradiated and irradiated materials are used to investigate helium bubble embrittlement in Ni-based super alloys, and hydride embrittlement in zirconium alloys.

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