EPJ Web of Conferences
Volume 6, 2010ICEM 14 – 14th International Conference on Experimental Mechanics
|Number of page(s)||2|
|Section||Impact Mechanics and High Strain Rate|
|Published online||10 June 2010|
Experimental approach and modelling of the mechanical behaviour of graphite fuel elements subjected to compression pulses
Laboratory of Physics and Mechanics of Materials, Université
Paul Verlaine - Metz,
Ile du Saulcy, 57045
Metz Cedex 1,
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the activities led by the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) relative to the future nuclear systems, the improvement of recycling of fuel elements and their components is a major issue. One of the studied systems by the GIF is the graphite-moderated high-temperature gas cooled reactor (HTGR). The fuel elements are composed of fuel roads half-inch in diameter named compacts. The compacts contain spherical particles made of actinide kernels about 500 m in diameter coated with three layers of carbon and silicon carbide, each about 50 m thick, dispersed in a graphite matrix. Recycling of compacts requires first a separation of triso-particles from the graphite matrix and secondly, the separation of the triso-coating from the kernels. This aim may be achieved by using pulsed currents: the compacts are placed within a cell filled by water and exposed to high voltage between 200 – 500 kV and discharge currents from 10 to 20 kA during short laps of time (about 2 µs) [1-2]. This repeated treatment leads to a progressive fragmentation of the graphite matrix and a disassembly of the compacts. In order to improve understanding of the fragmentation properties of compacts a series of quasi-static and dynamic experiments have been conducted with similar cylindrical samples containing 10% (volume fraction) of SiC particles coated in a graphite matrix.
First, quasi-static compression tests have been performed to identify the mechanical behaviour of the material at low strain-rates (Fig.1). The experiments reveal a complex elasto-visco-plastic behaviour before a brittle failure. The mechanical response is characterised by a low yield stress (about 1 MPa), a strong strain-hardening in the loading phase and marked hysteresis-loops during unloading-reloading stages. Brittle failure is observed for axial stress about 13 MPa. In parallel, a series of flexural tests have been performed with the aim to characterise the quasi-static tensile strength of the particulate-graphite and the corresponding standard deviation. The behaviour being non linear before failure, a numerical simulation has been conducted to build the relation between the applied load and the maximum tensile stress. A statistical approach applied to experimental data allows deducing the mean tensile strength (about 2.5 MPa) and the scatter of failure stresses (Weibull modulus m = 12).
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2010
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.