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Title: Characterization of nuclear graphite elastic properties using laser ultrasonic methods

Laser ultrasonic methods have been used to characterize the elastic behaviors of commercially-available and legacy nuclear graphites. Since ultrasonic techniques are sensitive to various aspects of graphite microstructure including preferred grain orientation, microcrack orientation and porosity, laser ultrasonics is a candidate technique for monitoring graphite degradation and structural integrity in environments expected in high-temperature, gas-cooled nuclear reactors. Aspects of materials texture can be assessed by studying ultrasonic wavespeeds as a function of propagation direction and polarization. Shear wave birefringence measurements, in particular, can be used to evaluate elastic anisotropy. In this work, laser ultrasonic measurements of graphite moduli have been made to provide insight into the relationship between the microstructures and the macroscopic stiffnesses of these materials. In particular, laser ultrasonic measurements have been made using laser line sources to produce shear waves with specific polarizations. By varying the line orientation relative to the sample, shear wave birefringence measurements have been recorded. Results from shear wave birefringence measurements show that an isostatically molded graphite, such as PCIB, behaves isotropically, while an extruded graphite, such as H-451, displays significant ultrasonic texture. Graphites have complicated microstructures that depend on the manufacturing processes used, and ultrasonic texture in these materials could originate frommore » grain orientation and preferred microcrack alignment. Effects on material isotropy due to service related microstructural changes are possible and the ultimate aim of this work is to determine the degree to which these changes can be assessed nondestructively using laser ultrasonics measurements« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Johns Hopkins University
  2. ORNL
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OSTI Identifier:
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Resource Relation:
Conference: SPIE 2015, Baltimore, MD, USA, 20150512, 20150512
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
ORNL work for others
Country of Publication:
United States
graphite; texture; laser ultrasonics; shear wave; shear modulus; anisotropy