skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: INITIAL RESULTS FROM INVESTIGATIONS TO ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE OF HIGH TEMPERATURE IRRADIATION-RESISTANT THERMOCOUPLES

Abstract

New fuel, cladding, and structural materials offer the potential for safer and more economic energy from existing reactor and advanced nuclear reactor designs. However, insufficient data are available to characterize these materials in high temperature, radiation conditions. To evaluate candidate material performance, robust instrumentation is needed that can survive these conditions. However, traditional thermocouples either drift due to degradation at high temperatures (above 1100 °C) or due to transmutation of thermocouple components. Thermocouples are needed which can withstand both high temperature and high radiation environments. To address this instrumentation need, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) recently developed the design and evaluated the performance of a high temperature radiation-resistant thermocouple that contains commercially-available alloys of molybdenum and niobium (Rempe, 2006). Candidate thermocouple component materials were first identified based on their ability to withstand high temperature and radiation. Then, components were selected based on data obtained from materials interaction tests, ductility investigations, and resolution evaluations. Results from long duration (over 4000 hours) tests at high temperatures (up to 1400 °C) and thermal cycling tests demonstrate the stability and reliability of the INL-developed design. Tests in INL’s Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) are underway to demonstrate the in-pile performance of these thermocouples. However, severalmore » options have been identified that could further enhance the lifetime and reliability of the INL-developed thermocouples, allowing their use in higher temperature applications (up to at least 1700 °C). A joint University of Idaho (UI) and INL University Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (UNERI) is underway to investigate these options and ultimately, provide recommendations for an enhanced thermocouple design. This paper presents preliminary results from this UI/INL effort. Results are reported from tests completed to evaluate the ductility, resolution, transient response, and stability of thermocouples made from non-commercially available alloys of molybdenum and niobium. In addition, this paper reports preliminary insights gained by comparing the performance of thermocouples fabricated with alternate techniques and geometries.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
911961
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-06-11875
TRN: US0800242
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 15th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering,Nagoya, Japan,04/22/2007,04/26/2007
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 - INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; ALLOYS; BUILDING MATERIALS; DUCTILITY; LIFETIME; MOLYBDENUM; NIOBIUM; NUCLEAR ENERGY; NUCLEAR ENGINEERING; RADIATIONS; REACTORS; RELIABILITY; RESOLUTION; STABILITY; TEST REACTORS; THERMAL CYCLING; THERMOCOUPLES; TRANSIENTS; TRANSMUTATION; High-Temperature; In-Pile Instrumentation; Thermocouples

Citation Formats

Crepeau, John, Rempe, Joy, Wilkins, S. Curtis, Knudson, Darrell L., Condie, Keith G., and Daw, Joshua. INITIAL RESULTS FROM INVESTIGATIONS TO ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE OF HIGH TEMPERATURE IRRADIATION-RESISTANT THERMOCOUPLES. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Crepeau, John, Rempe, Joy, Wilkins, S. Curtis, Knudson, Darrell L., Condie, Keith G., & Daw, Joshua. INITIAL RESULTS FROM INVESTIGATIONS TO ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE OF HIGH TEMPERATURE IRRADIATION-RESISTANT THERMOCOUPLES. United States.
Crepeau, John, Rempe, Joy, Wilkins, S. Curtis, Knudson, Darrell L., Condie, Keith G., and Daw, Joshua. Sun . "INITIAL RESULTS FROM INVESTIGATIONS TO ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE OF HIGH TEMPERATURE IRRADIATION-RESISTANT THERMOCOUPLES". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/911961.
@article{osti_911961,
title = {INITIAL RESULTS FROM INVESTIGATIONS TO ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE OF HIGH TEMPERATURE IRRADIATION-RESISTANT THERMOCOUPLES},
author = {Crepeau, John and Rempe, Joy and Wilkins, S. Curtis and Knudson, Darrell L. and Condie, Keith G. and Daw, Joshua},
abstractNote = {New fuel, cladding, and structural materials offer the potential for safer and more economic energy from existing reactor and advanced nuclear reactor designs. However, insufficient data are available to characterize these materials in high temperature, radiation conditions. To evaluate candidate material performance, robust instrumentation is needed that can survive these conditions. However, traditional thermocouples either drift due to degradation at high temperatures (above 1100 °C) or due to transmutation of thermocouple components. Thermocouples are needed which can withstand both high temperature and high radiation environments. To address this instrumentation need, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) recently developed the design and evaluated the performance of a high temperature radiation-resistant thermocouple that contains commercially-available alloys of molybdenum and niobium (Rempe, 2006). Candidate thermocouple component materials were first identified based on their ability to withstand high temperature and radiation. Then, components were selected based on data obtained from materials interaction tests, ductility investigations, and resolution evaluations. Results from long duration (over 4000 hours) tests at high temperatures (up to 1400 °C) and thermal cycling tests demonstrate the stability and reliability of the INL-developed design. Tests in INL’s Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) are underway to demonstrate the in-pile performance of these thermocouples. However, several options have been identified that could further enhance the lifetime and reliability of the INL-developed thermocouples, allowing their use in higher temperature applications (up to at least 1700 °C). A joint University of Idaho (UI) and INL University Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (UNERI) is underway to investigate these options and ultimately, provide recommendations for an enhanced thermocouple design. This paper presents preliminary results from this UI/INL effort. Results are reported from tests completed to evaluate the ductility, resolution, transient response, and stability of thermocouples made from non-commercially available alloys of molybdenum and niobium. In addition, this paper reports preliminary insights gained by comparing the performance of thermocouples fabricated with alternate techniques and geometries.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • Many advanced nuclear reactor designs require new fuel, cladding, and structural materials. Data are needed to characterize the performance of these new materials in high temperature, radiation conditions. However, traditional methods for measuring temperature inpile degrade at temperatures above 1100 ºC. To address this instrumentation need, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) developed and evaluated the performance of a high temperature irradiation-resistant thermocouple that contains alloys of molybdenum and niobium. To verify the performance of INL’s recommended thermocouple design, a series of high temperature (from 1200 to 1800 ºC) long duration (up to six months) tests has been initiated. This papermore » summarizes results from the tests that have been completed. Data are presented from 4000 hour tests conducted at 1200 and 1400 ºC that demonstrate the stability of this thermocouple (less than 2% drift). In addition, post test metallographic examinations are discussed which confirm the compatibility of thermocouple materials throughout these long duration, high temperature tests.« less
  • Several options have been identified to improve recently-developed Idaho National Laboratory (INL) High Temperature Irradiation Resistant ThermoCouples (HTIR-TCs) for in-pile testing. These options have the potential to reduce fabrication costs and allow HTIR-TC use in higher temperature applications (up to at least 1800 °C). The INL and the University of Idaho (UI) investigated these options with the ultimate objective of providing recommendations for alternate thermocouple designs that are optimized for various applications. This paper summarizes results from these INL/UI investigations. Specifically, results are reported about several options found to enhance HTIR-TC performance, such as improved heat treatments, alternate geometries, alternatemore » fabrication techniques, and the use of copper/nickel alloys as soft extension cable.« less
  • Several options have been identified that could further enhance the reliability and increase the applicability of recently developed Idaho National Laboratory (INL) High Temperature Irradiation Resistant thermocouples (HTIR-TCs) for in-pile testing, allowing their use in higher temperature applications (up to at least 1700 °C). INL and the University of Idaho (UI) are investigating these options with the ultimate objective of providing recommendations for alternate thermocouple designs that are optimized for various applications. This paper reports the status of INL/UI investigations. Results are reported from tests completed to evaluate the ductility, resolution, transient response, and stability of thermocouples made from speciallymore » formulated alloys of molybdenum and niobium. In addition, this paper reports preliminary insights gained by comparing the performance of thermocouples fabricated with various heat treatments and alternate geometries.« less
  • Traditional methods for measuring temperature in-pile degrade at temperatures above 1100 ºC. To address this instrumentation need, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) developed and evaluated the performance of a high temperature irradiation-resistant thermocouple (HTIR-TC) that contains alloys of molybdenum and niobium. Data from high temperature (up to 1500 ºC) long duration (up to 4000 hours) tests and on-going irradiations at INL’s Advanced Test Reactor demonstrate the superiority of these sensors to commercially-available thermocouples. However, several options have been identified that could further enhance their reliability, reduce their production costs, and allow their use in a wider range of operating conditions.more » This paper presents results from on-going Idaho National Laboratory (INL)/University of Idaho (UI) efforts to investigate options to improve HTIR-TC ductility, reliability, and resolution by investigating specially-formulated alloys of molybdenum and niobium and alternate diameter thermoelements (wires). In addition, on-going efforts to evaluate alternate fabrication approaches, such as drawn and loose assembly techniques will be discussed. Efforts to reduce HTIR-TC fabrication costs, such as the use of less expensive extension cable will also be presented. Finally, customized HTIR-TC designs developed for specific customer needs will be summarized to emphasize the varied conditions under which these sensors may be used.« less
  • In an effort to reduce production costs for the doped molybdenum/niobium alloy High Temperature Irradiation Resistant Thermocouples (HTIR-TCs) recently developed by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), a series of evaluations were completed to identify an optimum compensating extension cable. Results indicate that of those combinations tested, two inexpensive, commercially-available copper nickel alloy wires approximate the low temperature (0 to 500oC) thermoelectric output of KW-Mo versus Nb-1%Zr in HTIR-TCs. For lower temperatures (0 to 150oC), which is the region where soft extension cable is most often used, results indicate that the thermocouple emf is best replicated by the Cu-3.5%Ni versus Cu-5%Nimore » combination (measured emfs were within 4% at 100 and 150oC). At higher temperatures (300 to 500oC), data suggest that the Cu-5%Ni versus Cu-10%Ni combination may yield data closer to that obtained with KW-Mo versus Nb-1%Zr wires (measured emfs were within 8%). Further, interpolation of test results suggest that a combination containing a negative thermoelement with slightly lower nickel content, such as Cu-5%Ni versus Cu-9%Ni, may yield more representative data if extension cable is needed for these higher temperatures.« less