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Title: Aging Behavior of the Viton® Fluoroelastomer O-Rings in the 9975 Shipping Package

The 9975 Type B shipping package is used within the DOE complex for shipping special nuclear materials. This package is re-certified annually in accordance with Safety Analysis Report requirements. The package is also used at the Savannah River Site as part of the long-term storage configuration of special nuclear materials. As such, the packages do not undergo annual recertification during storage, with uncertainty as to how long some of the package components will meet their functional requirements in the storage environment. The packages are currently approved for up to 15 years storage, and work continues to provide a technical basis to extend that period. This paper describes efforts by the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to extend the service life estimate of Viton® GLT and GLT-S fluoroelastomer O-rings used in the 9975 shipping package. O-rings of both compositions are undergoing accelerated aging at elevated temperature, and are periodically tested for compression stress relaxation (CSR) behavior and leak performance. The CSR behavior of O-rings was evaluated at temperatures from 79 °C to 177 °C. These collective data were used to develop predictive models for extrapolation of CSR behavior to relevant service temperatures (< 75 °C). O-rings were also aged in Primarymore » Containment Vessel (PCV) fixtures at temperatures ranging from 79 °C to 232 °C. The fixtures are helium leak tested periodically to determine if they remain leak-tight. The PCV fixture tests demonstrate that the 9975 O-rings will remain leak-tight at temperatures up to 149 °C for 3 years or more, and no leak failures have been observed with up to 8 years aging at 93 °C. Significantly longer periods of leak-tight service are expected at the lower temperatures actually experienced in the storage environment. The predictive model developed from the CSR data conservatively indicates a service life of more than 20 years at the bounding temperature of 75 °C. Although the relationship between CSR behavior and leak-tight performance has not been established for this design, the CSR predictions for this O-ring are conservative relative to leak-tight performance to date.« less
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Conference: 56th INMM Annual Meeting
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United States