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State-of-the-art report on application of miniaturized testing techniques to support life management decisions for nuclear plants

Funded under: FP7-JRC


Many plant components are subjected to high temperatures and stresses during their operation where they undergo creep. Long-term, high temperature operation causes degradation of mechanical properties and hence reduction in remaining components' life. By defining current metal mechanical properties, the remanent life can be accurately predicted. The traditional destructive testing methods require large specimens. However it could be a problem to obtain such large samples from a component in service without violating its structural integrity. Consequently, various non-destructive or miniaturised specimen testing techniques have been developed over the past two decades. This review is tailored to examine the miniaturized testing methods for the more conventional mechanical/creep range of properties of metallic materials. The industrial needs and requirements for such miniaturized techniques are summarised further, as well as a short background of the small scale specimens' designs, evolving "size" limitations and their application worldwide. Further attention is given to one specific mini technique, namely small punch (SP) testing method, proposed by Manahan et al. 1 and enjoying an increasing interest lately. The current status of the testing methodology in question is presented (at European level), as well as some preliminary investigations to show the suitability of the SP testing technology for application as a lifetime prediction tool for metallic components operating at high temperatures, also in support of the recently launched Code of Practice for Small Punch Testing (CEN/WS 21) 2.

Additional information

Authors: BLAGOEVA D, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy, Petten (NL);TAYLOR N, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy, Petten (NL);HURST R., European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy, Petten (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 23221 EN (2008), 47 pp. Free of Charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: LD-NA-23221-EN-C)
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