A model to describe the fracture of porous polygranular graphite subject to neutron damage and radiolytic oxidation

G. Smith, E. Schlangen, P.E.J. Flewitt, A. G. Crocker, A. Hodgkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two linked models have been developed to explore the relationship between the amount of porosity arising in service from both radiolytic oxidation and fast neutron damage that influences both the strength and the force-displacement (load-displacement) behaviour and crack propagation in pile grade A graphite used as a nuclear reactor moderator material. Firstly models of the microstructure of the porous graphite for both unirradiated and irradiated graphite are created. These form the input for the second stage, simulating fracture in lattice-type finite element models, which predicts force (load)-displacement and crack propagation paths. Microstructures comprising aligned filler particles, typical of needle coke, in a porous matrix have been explored. The purpose was to isolate the contributions of filler particles and porosity to fracture strength and crack paths and consider their implications for the overall failure of reactor core graphite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-185
Number of pages23
JournalCMC Computer, Materials and Continua
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Crack path
  • FE lattice model
  • Fracture strength
  • Modelling microstructure
  • Reactor core graphite

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