# Experimental Measurement and Numerical Modeling of the Effective Thermal Conductivity of TRISO Fuel Compacts

## Abstract

Accurate modeling capability of thermal conductivity of tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) fuel compacts is important to fuel performance modeling and safety of Generation IV reactors. To date, the effective thermal conductivity (ETC) of tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) fuel compacts has not been measured directly. The composite fuel is a complicated structure comprised of layered particles in a graphite matrix. In this work, finite element modeling is used to validate an analytic ETC model for application to the composite fuel material for particle-volume fractions up to 40%. The effect of each individual layer of a TRISO particle is analyzed showing that the overall ETC of the compact is most sensitive to the outer layer constituent. In conjunction with the modeling results, the thermal conductivity of matrix-graphite compacts and the ETC of surrogate TRISO fuel compacts have been successfully measured using a previously developed measurement system. The ETC of the surrogate fuel compacts varies between 50 and 30 W m ^{-1} K ^{-1} over a temperature range of 50-600°C. As a result of the numerical modeling and experimental measurements of the fuel compacts, a new model and approach for analyzing the effect of compact constituent materials on ETC is proposed that can estimate the fuel compactmore »

- Authors:

- Utah State Univ., Logan, UT (United States). Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Dept.
- Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

- Publication Date:

- Research Org.:
- Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

- Sponsoring Org.:
- USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)

- OSTI Identifier:
- 1177669

- Report Number(s):
- INL/JOU-14-33945

Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115; TRN: US1500087

- DOE Contract Number:
- AC07-05ID14517

- Resource Type:
- Journal Article

- Resource Relation:
- Journal Name: Journal of Nuclear Materials; Journal Volume: 458

- Country of Publication:
- United States

- Language:
- English

- Subject:
- 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY; GRAPHITE; COMPACTS; MATRIX MATERIALS; Nuclear Fuels; Fuel Particles; SIMULATION; APPROXIMATIONS; LAYERS; Temperature Range 0273-0400 K; Temperature Range 0400-1000 K; ANISOTROPY; EXPERIMENT; GUARDED-COMPARATIVE HEAT FLOW TECHNIQUE; NUMERICAL; TRISO

### Citation Formats

```
Folsom, Charles, Xing, Changhu, Jensen, Colby, Ban, Heng, and Marshall, Douglas W.
```*Experimental Measurement and Numerical Modeling of the Effective Thermal Conductivity of TRISO Fuel Compacts*. United States: N. p., 2015.
Web. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2014.12.042.

```
Folsom, Charles, Xing, Changhu, Jensen, Colby, Ban, Heng, & Marshall, Douglas W.
```*Experimental Measurement and Numerical Modeling of the Effective Thermal Conductivity of TRISO Fuel Compacts*. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2014.12.042.

```
Folsom, Charles, Xing, Changhu, Jensen, Colby, Ban, Heng, and Marshall, Douglas W. Sun .
"Experimental Measurement and Numerical Modeling of the Effective Thermal Conductivity of TRISO Fuel Compacts". United States.
doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2014.12.042.
```

```
@article{osti_1177669,
```

title = {Experimental Measurement and Numerical Modeling of the Effective Thermal Conductivity of TRISO Fuel Compacts},

author = {Folsom, Charles and Xing, Changhu and Jensen, Colby and Ban, Heng and Marshall, Douglas W.},

abstractNote = {Accurate modeling capability of thermal conductivity of tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) fuel compacts is important to fuel performance modeling and safety of Generation IV reactors. To date, the effective thermal conductivity (ETC) of tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) fuel compacts has not been measured directly. The composite fuel is a complicated structure comprised of layered particles in a graphite matrix. In this work, finite element modeling is used to validate an analytic ETC model for application to the composite fuel material for particle-volume fractions up to 40%. The effect of each individual layer of a TRISO particle is analyzed showing that the overall ETC of the compact is most sensitive to the outer layer constituent. In conjunction with the modeling results, the thermal conductivity of matrix-graphite compacts and the ETC of surrogate TRISO fuel compacts have been successfully measured using a previously developed measurement system. The ETC of the surrogate fuel compacts varies between 50 and 30 W m-1 K-1 over a temperature range of 50-600°C. As a result of the numerical modeling and experimental measurements of the fuel compacts, a new model and approach for analyzing the effect of compact constituent materials on ETC is proposed that can estimate the fuel compact ETC with approximately 15-20% more accuracy than the old method. Using the ETC model with measured thermal conductivity of the graphite matrix-only material indicate that, in the composite form, the matrix material has a much greater thermal conductivity, which is attributed to the high anisotropy of graphite thermal conductivity. Therefore, simpler measurements of individual TRISO compact constituents combined with an analytic ETC model, will not provide accurate predictions of overall ETC of the compacts emphasizing the need for measurements of composite, surrogate compacts.},

doi = {10.1016/j.jnucmat.2014.12.042},

journal = {Journal of Nuclear Materials},

number = ,

volume = 458,

place = {United States},

year = {Sun Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2015},

month = {Sun Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2015}

}