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Laser-Ultrasonic Monitoring of Steel Destruction


Development of a Laser-Ultrasonic Method and Appropriate Experimental Apparatus for Detection of Structural Deterioration and Defectiveness of Steel Aiming at Increase of Safe Work of Nuclear Power Stations (NPS)

Tech Area / Field

  • INS-MEA/Measuring Instruments/Instrumentation
  • FIR-NSS/Nuclear Safety and Safeguarding/Fission Reactors
  • PHY-STM/Structural Mechanics/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
St Petersburg State Polytechnical University, Russia, St Petersburg

Supporting institutes

  • Russian Academy of Sciences / Physical Technical Institute, Russia, St Petersburg\nKhlopin Radium Institute, Russia, St Petersburg\nSaint-Petersburg State Institute of Engineering, Russia, St Petersburg\nMIFI, Russia, Moscow


  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore\nLockheed Martin Corporation / Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc., USA, TN, Oak Ridge

Project summary

The project is aimed at development of a fundamentally new method and the appropriate nondestructive laser-ultrasonic control apparatus for evaluation of residual resource, operational diagnostics and examination of physical condition of structural materials of nuclear power station equipment during operation. The developed control apparatus is considered to be widely employed for evaluation of safety life-time of any important machines and mechanisms in transport, construction, shipbuilding, aircraft, cosmic, oil, gas and others industries.

At present there are no such apparatus with the extreme demand for them.

Four organizations participate in the project:

· Saint-Petersburg State Technical University (SPbSTU).

Scientists and engineers working in SPbSTU have been engaged for more than 20 years in solving the problems of laser ultrasonic control, development of devices and facilities for determination of remaining workability of products;

· Moscow State Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI).

MEPhI for more than 30 years intensively works on creation and utilization of methods and facilities for tests and inspections of materials and structures under extreme conditions.

· Khlopin Radium Institute (KhRI).

Khlopin Radium Institute has great experience in researches on the effect of radiation on various materials

· Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute (IPhTI).

IPhTI has great experience in holography, holographic interferometry and photoreflective materials.

· Saint-Petersburg Institute of Engineering (SPIE).

SPIE has essential achievements and great experience in accelerated mechanical tests of various materials. The institute has equipment allowing studying strength characteristics of units and details under various climatic conditions.

The work will be performed using previously obtained results of investigations based on pumping ultrasonic impulse signals in solids with the use of lasers. This enables to get powerful short impulse signals with so wide spectrum band that cannot be reached by any other comparatively inexpensive emitters. Diagnostics of vulnerability to structural damage of materials is implemented by analysis of acoustic structural sounds originating as a result of impulses passing through controlled material.

Within the proposed project there will be continued some previously fulfilled explorations, worked through the problems of interrelationship between vulnerability to damage and mechanical properties of structural materials under action of low-cycle fatigue, thermal, radiation and corrosion actions. There will be developed, adjusted and used special laser-acoustic wide-band generators allowing to increase coefficients of light-sound transformation in tens times. This will enable to utilize low-power small-scale lasers for pumping sound waves and substantially lessen cost of these devices.

Structural sound signals will be received by specially developed wide-band, optic-electron contact converters. Besides, the possibility of using noncontact converters for remote control of apparatus will be also investigated.

Developed facilities for pumping ultrasonic impulse signals, receiving and analyzing information, will substantially extend the scope of feasibility of the device, making created apparatus widespread means for diagnostics and examination.

Within the process of work the already existing laboratory set will be modernized, and a device prototype realizing the developed method of nondestructive tests will be manufactured. The participants of the project are completely sure that its aim will be achieved, basing on previously gotten theoretical and experimental data, accumulated experience and the conclusions made be the

highest-level specialists and scientists of Russia after discussion of the results already obtained. The results of domestic and foreign publications, including dissertations, will be widely used in the process of fulfillment of the project.

The present project gives Russian designers and scientists engaged in weapon development and production an opportunity to reorient their capacities to civil activity. It is supposed that participation of foreign collaborators in the project will be expressed in information exchange, estimation and testing of developed equipment, giving the commentaries to technical reports, giving of material, organization and information support and assistance to project participants.

Total duration of the project – 2 years.


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