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Title: Three-dimensional NDE of VHTR core components via simulation-based testing. Final report

A next generation, simulation-driven-and-enabled testing platform is developed for the 3D detection and characterization of defects and damage in nuclear graphite and composite structures in Very High Temperature Reactors (VHTRs). The proposed work addresses the critical need for the development of high-fidelity Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) technologies for as-manufactured and replaceable in-service VHTR components. Centered around the novel use of elastic (sonic and ultrasonic) waves, this project deploys a robust, non-iterative inverse solution for the 3D defect reconstruction together with a non-contact, laser-based approach to the measurement of experimental waveforms in VHTR core components. In particular, this research (1) deploys three-dimensional Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometry (3D SLDV) as a means to accurately and remotely measure 3D displacement waveforms over the accessible surface of a VHTR core component excited by mechanical vibratory source; (2) implements a powerful new inverse technique, based on the concept of Topological Sensitivity (TS), for non-iterative elastic waveform tomography of internal defects - that permits robust 3D detection, reconstruction and characterization of discrete damage (e.g. holes and fractures) in nuclear graphite from limited-aperture NDE measurements; (3) implements state-of-the art computational (finite element) model that caters for accurately simulating elastic wave propagation in 3D blocks of nuclear graphite; (4)more » integrates the SLDV testing methodology with the TS imaging algorithm into a non-contact, high-fidelity NDE platform for the 3D reconstruction and characterization of defects and damage in VHTR core components; and (5) applies the proposed methodology to VHTR core component samples (both two- and three-dimensional) with a priori induced, discrete damage in the form of holes and fractures. Overall, the newly established SLDV-TS testing platform represents a next-generation NDE tool that surpasses all existing techniques for the 3D ultrasonic imaging of material damage from non-contact, limited-aperture waveform measurements. Outlook. The next stage in the development of this technology includes items such as (a) non-contact generation of mechanical vibrations in VHTR components via thermal expansion created by high-intensity laser; (b) development and incorporation of Synthetic Aperture Focusing Technique (SAFT) for elevating the accuracy of 3D imaging in highly noisy environments with minimal accessible surface; (c) further analytical and computational developments to facilitate the reconstruction of diffuse damage (e.g. microcracks) in nuclear graphite as they lead to the dispersion of elastic waves, (d) concept of model updating for accurate tracking of the evolution of material damage via periodic inspections; (d) adoption of the Bayesian framework to obtain information on the certainty of obtained images; and (e) optimization of the computational scheme toward real-time, model-based imaging of damage in VHTR core components.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
  2. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1183651
Report Number(s):
DOE/NEUP--10-862
10-862; TRN: US1500401
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 42 ENGINEERING; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; REACTOR CORES; GRAPHITE; FINITE ELEMENT METHOD; DAMAGE; NONDESTRUCTIVE TESTING; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; DEFECTS; FRACTURES; WAVE FORMS; TEMPERATURE RANGE 1000-4000 K; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; THERMAL EXPANSION; SOUND WAVES; ULTRASONIC WAVES; ALGORITHMS; DETECTION; TOMOGRAPHY; MECHANICAL VIBRATIONS; WAVE PROPAGATION; CRACKS; IMAGES; IN-SERVICE INSPECTION; OPTIMIZATION; HTGR TYPE REACTORS