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Title: Mechanical properties of SiC composites neutron irradiated under light water reactor relevant temperature and dose conditions

Silicon carbide (SiC) fiber–reinforced SiC matrix (SiC/SiC) composites are being actively investigated for use in accident-tolerant core structures of light water reactors (LWRs). Owing to the limited number of irradiation studies previously conducted at LWR-coolant temperature, this paper examined SiC/SiC composites following neutron irradiation at 230–340 °C to 2.0 and 11.8 dpa in the High Flux Isotope Reactor. The investigated materials were chemical vapor infiltrated (CVI) SiC/SiC composites with three different reinforcement fibers. The fiber materials were monolayer pyrolytic carbon (PyC) -coated Hi-Nicalon™ Type-S (HNS), Tyranno™ SA3 (SA3), and SCS-Ultra™ (SCS) SiC fibers. The irradiation resistance of these composites was investigated based on flexural behavior, dynamic Young's modulus, swelling, and microstructures. There was no notable mechanical properties degradation of the irradiated HNS and SA3 SiC/SiC composites except for reduction of the Young's moduli by up to 18%. The microstructural stability of these composites supported the absence of degradation. In addition, no progressive swelling from 2.0 to 11.8 dpa was confirmed for these composites. On the other hand, the SCS composite showed significant mechanical degradation associated with cracking within the fiber. Finally, this study determined that SiC/SiC composites with HNS or SA3 SiC/SiC fibers, a PyC interphase, and a CVI SiCmore » matrix retain their properties beyond the lifetime dose for LWR fuel cladding at the relevant temperature.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 494; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Fuel Cycle Technologies (NE-5); USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS
OSTI Identifier:
1376450