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Title: Technique development for modulus, microcracking, hermeticity, and coating evaluation capability characterization of SiC/SiC tubes

Driven by the need to enlarge the safety margins of nuclear fission reactors in accident scenarios, research and development of accident-tolerant fuel has become an important topic in the nuclear engineering and materials community. A continuous-fiber SiC/SiC composite is under consideration as a replacement for traditional zirconium alloy cladding owing to its high-temperature stability, chemical inertness, and exceptional irradiation resistance. An important task is the development of characterization techniques for SiC/SiC cladding, since traditional work using rectangular bars or disks cannot directly provide useful information on the properties of SiC/SiC composite tubes for fuel cladding applications. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, experimental capabilities are under development to characterize the modulus, microcracking, and hermeticity of as-fabricated, as-irradiated SiC/SiC composite tubes. Resonant ultrasound spectroscopy has been validated as a promising technique to evaluate the elastic properties of SiC/SiC composite tubes and microcracking within the material. A similar technique, impulse excitation, is efficient in determining the basic mechanical properties of SiC bars prepared by chemical vapor deposition; it also has potential for application in studying the mechanical properties of SiC/SiC composite tubes. Complete evaluation of the quality of the developed coatings, a major mitigation strategy against gas permeation and hydrothermal corrosion, requires themore » deployment of various experimental techniques, such as scratch indentation, tensile pulling-off tests, and scanning electron microscopy. In addition, a comprehensive permeation test station is being established to assess the hermeticity of SiC/SiC composite tubes and to determine the H/D/He permeability of SiC/SiC composites. This report summarizes the current status of the development of these experimental capabilities.« less
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  1. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE); ORNL LDRD Director's R&D
Country of Publication:
United States