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  1. 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 sizemore » 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.« less

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