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Destruction of Reactor Materials


Investigation of Destruction and Resistance of Atomic Reactor Design Materials to Plastic Strain Coused by Dynamic Effects

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-MAT/Materials and Materials Conversion/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov

Supporting institutes

  • State University of Nizhny Novgorod / Research Intitute of Mechanics, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod


  • Université de Metz, France, Metz\nUniversity of Texas at Austin / Institute of Advanced Technology, USA, TX, Austin

Project summary

In current facilities employing high-energy processes (for example, at atomic reactors) we can not exclude possibility of accidents with energy release in work substance followed by high-velocity deformation of protective structure elements. As a consequence, there can be destruction of them and environment contamination by environmentally harmful substances.

The goal of this Project is acquisition of experimental quantitative information (deformation diagrams, crack resistance, spalling and shear strengths) on reological properties of design materials (metals and their alloys, polymers, concrete) applied in atomic reactor designs nowadays as well as well as having prospects under strain with velocities from 102 s-1 to 107 s-1 and initial temperatures from -196°C to +800°C and development of mathematical models to describe these properties.

Most of information known from papers on mechanical properties of mentioned materials has been obtained by standard techniques under conditions of static or quasi-static loading (strain velocity is less than 102 s'1) and narrow temperature range. At the same time reological properties of materials essentially depend on strain characteristics, initial design, composition and temperature and are inpidual for each particular materials under dynamic loads. It is evident from investigations of some metals (Fe, Си, А1), their alloys and polymers.

Application of dynamic loads will allow to obtain new information on reaction of materials in area of stress-strain states different from static loads in a quantitative and qualitative sense.

Expected results and scientific importance consist in acquisition of new experimental data on strength and strain properties of materials under compression and tension with ranges of strain velocities and temperatures mentioned above, determination of their dependence on design factors and composition, development of new reological models, determining equations and kinetic equations of destruction and determination of parameters, up-grading of techniques for numerical forecasting of results of dynamic and pulse load effects on design elements of atomic reactors and devices, where high-energy processes take place.

Solution of this problem includes conduction of analytical investigations, a quantitative experiment, experimental investigations. Fulfillment of this Project will allow to take into account real strength properties of materials for numerical assessments of atomic reactor elements resistance to accidents.

Experts of VNIIEF and NIIM NNGU have accumulated wide experience of experimental investigations concerning strength and strain properties of different design material classes under loading conditions as well as conduction of mathematical models, determining equations and kinetic equations of destruction. This experience can be applied directly to solve tasks set forth in this Project.

There is no other testing complex in Russia with such up-dated equipment and such high-qualified staff employing majority of modern techniques of high-velocity testes.The laboratories involved in the project are unique because of they include the whole complex of experimental facilities based on advanced techniques of testing and recording:

• different modifications of compound Hopkinson bar of universal Kolski's techniques employing energy of explosion of brisant HE and ballistic facilities to form pulse loads;

• explosive devices of launching and contact operation for shock-wave loading of samples;

• different types of detectors of stress, strain and velocity to measure loading parameters;

• techniques of metallographic analysis and X-raying to obtain information on structural changes in materials.

Data bank carried out by the project investigators on dynamic, physical and mechanical characteristics of design materials provided reliability and safety of nuclear weapon designs developed in RFNC-VNIIEF.

The Project will allow to shift the efforts of weapons experts to solve fundamental problems dealing with physics and mechanics of the compressed continuum under strain as well as applied tasks of environmentally safe high-energy technologies development.

In 1994-1995 in accordance with contracts with Los-Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories the project investigators carried out investigations of dynamic strength properties of aluminium composites and wood provided by the customer. Foreign collaborators would be involved to select materials for investigation, discuss and correct the technical schedule, review scientiflcal and technical information and application of it in their data banks on dynamic mechanical properties of materials. We have preliminary agreement to support the project by Dr.G.T. Gray III, J.W. Shaner (LANL, USA), Dr. C.D. Croessmann (SNL, USA), J.R. Klepaczko (France).


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