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Title: A phase-field approach to model multi-axial and microstructure dependent fracture in nuclear grade graphite

The fracture behavior of nuclear grade graphites is strongly influenced by underlying microstructural features such as the character of filler particles, and the distribution of pores and voids. These microstructural features influence the crack nucleation and propagation behavior, resulting in quasi-brittle fracture with a tortuous crack path and significant scatter in measured bulk strength. This paper uses a phase-field method to model the microstructural and multi-axial fracture in H-451, a historic variant of nuclear graphite that provides the basis for an idealized study on a legacy grade. The representative volume elements are constructed from randomly located pores with random size obtained from experimentally determined log-normal distribution. The representative volume elements are then subjected to simulated multi-axial loading, and a reasonable agreement of the resulting fracture stress with experiments is obtained. Finally, quasi-brittle stress-strain evolution with a tortuous crack path is also observed from the simulations and is consistent with experimental results.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115; PII: S0022311516301209
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 475; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; fracture; nuclear grade graphite; phase-field model
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1341167