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Title: Statistical Comparison of the Baseline Mechanical Properties of NBG-18 and PCEA Graphite

High-purity graphite is the core structural material of choice in the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR), a graphite-moderated, helium-cooled design that is capable of producing process heat for power generation and for industrial process that require temperatures higher than the outlet temperatures of present nuclear reactors. The Baseline Graphite Characterization Program is endeavoring to minimize the conservative estimates of as-manufactured mechanical and physical properties by providing comprehensive data that captures the level of variation in measured values. In addition to providing a comprehensive comparison between these values in different nuclear grades, the program is also carefully tracking individual specimen source, position, and orientation information in order to provide comparisons and variations between different lots, different billets, and different positions from within a single billet. This report is a preliminary comparison between the two grades of graphite that were initially favored in the two main VHTR designs. NBG-18, a medium-grain pitch coke graphite from SGL formed via vibration molding, was the favored structural material in the pebble-bed configuration, while PCEA, a smaller grain, petroleum coke, extruded graphite from GrafTech was favored for the prismatic configuration. An analysis of the comparison between these two grades will include not only the differences inmore » fundamental and statistically-significant individual strength levels, but also the differences in variability in properties within each of the grades that will ultimately provide the basis for the prediction of in-service performance. The comparative performance of the different types of nuclear grade graphites will continue to evolve as thousands more specimens are fully characterized from the numerous grades of graphite being evaluated.« less
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Graphite; mechanical properties; NBG-18; PCEA