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Title: Silicon Carbide Temperature Monitor Processing Improvements. Status Report

Silicon carbide (SiC) temperature monitors are used as temperature sensors in Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) irradiations at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Although thermocouples are typically used to provide real-time temperature indication in instrumented lead tests, other indicators, such as melt wires, are also often included in such tests as an independent technique of detecting peak temperatures incurred during irradiation. In addition, less expensive static capsule tests, which have no leads attached for real-time data transmission, often rely on melt wires as a post-irradiation technique for peak temperature indication. Melt wires are limited in that they can only detect whether a single temperature is or is not exceeded. SiC monitors are advantageous because a single monitor can be used to detect for a range of temperatures that occurred during irradiation. As part of the process initiated to make SiC temperature monitors available at the ATR, post-irradiation evaluations of these monitors have been previously completed at the High Temperature Test Laboratory (HTTL). INL selected the resistance measurement approach for determining irradiation temperature from SiC temperature monitors because it is considered to be the most accurate measurement. The current process involves the repeated annealing of the SiC monitors at incrementally increasing temperature,more » with resistivity measurements made between annealing steps. The process is time consuming and requires the nearly constant attention of a trained staff member. In addition to the expensive and lengthy post analysis required, the current process adds many potential sources of error in the measurement, as the sensor must be repeatedly moved from furnace to test fixture. This time-consuming post irradiation analysis is a significant portion of the total cost of using these otherwise inexpensive sensors. An additional consideration of this research is that, if the SiC post processing can be automated, it could be performed in an MFC hot cell, further reducing the time and expense of lengthy decontaminations prior to processing. Sections of this report provide a general description of resistivity techniques currently used to infer peak irradiation temperature from silicon carbide temperature monitors along with some representative data, the proposed concepts to improve the process of analyzing irradiated SiC temperature monitors, the completed efforts to prove the proposed concepts, and future activities. The efforts detailed here succeeded in designing and developing a real-time automated SiC resistivity measurement system, and performed two initial test runs. Activities carried out include the assembly and integration of the system hardware; the design and development of a preliminary monitor fixture; the design of a technique to automate the data analysis and processing; the development of the communication, coordination, and user software; and the execution and troubleshooting of test run experiments using the box furnace. Although the automation system performed as required, the designed fixture did not succeed in establishing the needed electrical contacts with the SiC monitor.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1245531
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT--15-36738
TRN: US1601233
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; SILICON CARBIDES; MONITORS; IRRADIATION; DATA PROCESSING; ANNEALING; TEMPERATURE RANGE 0400-1000 K; SENSORS; EVALUATION; TEMPERATURE MONITORING; REAL TIME SYSTEMS; AUTOMATION; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; DESIGN; FABRICATION; PERFORMANCE TESTING; PROGRAMMING; TEMPERATURE RANGE 1000-4000 K Irradiation Test; Temperature Measurement