Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Facililty for high temperature testing of residual stresses via neutron diffraction

IE-JRC has developed facilities required for the measurement of residual stresses at elevated temperatures in monolithic and/or composite material specimens, of which at least one of its phases is of crystalline nature, based on novel neutron diffraction techniques. Two custom made furnaces have been developed for this purpose operating at inert atmosphere and vacuum respectively so as to avoid oxidation of investigated specimens. They both allow for temperature monitoring and control through 3 thermo- couples equally spaced along the gauge length. The first furnace (F1) operates up to 1200°C based on a Kanthal heating element and offers a specimen cavity of 50mm diameter and 100-mm height. The second (F2) operates up to 1450°C based on a Molybdenum heating element and is suitable for tubular specimens only. F1 is made of Alumina (Al2O3) and F2 is made of thin Quartz (SiO2) with a few layers of Sigraflex as thermal insulation. The chosen materials for these furnaces allow for minimum attenuation of the intensity of the incoming and diffracted neutron beams, which is crucial for performance of such testing.

These furnaces have been procured for the testing of tubular CMCs relevant to the investigations of the HITHEX project. After completion of HITHEX the equipment will be available for high temperature testing of metallic alloys welded specimens in relation to structural integrity assessment of power plant components in the context of future activities at the HFR.

Both furnaces have a relatively small outer diameter, which makes them particularly useful for such neutron diffraction measurements. This is a particular strength of furnace F2, which has only about two thirds of the diameter of F1. The large specimen cavity is an extraordinary feature of F1. There is hardly any other neutron facility in the world where residual stress testing at high temperatures could be performed in specimens of similar size. The restriction to tubular specimens is a disadvantage of furnace F2. Nevertheless, the concept of the quartz glass furnace has significant potential for further development. With the necessary design modifications such a furnace could equally well be used for bulky specimens. Furthermore, such a furnace can be procured at relatively low cost.

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Joint Research Centre
JRC-IE Westerduinweg, 3
NL 1755 LE Petten
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