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A Model to Describe the Fracture of Porous Polygranular Graphite Subject to Neutron Damage and Radiolytic Oxidation

G. Smith1, E. Schlangen2, P.E.J. Flewitt3, A.G. Crocker4, A. Hodgkins5
Interface Analysis Centre, School of Physics, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TL, UK
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
HH Wills Physics Laboratory, School of Physics, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TL, UK
Physics Department, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH
AMEC Clean Energy, now AMEC Foster-Wheeler, Walton House, 404 Faraday Street, BirchwoodPark, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 6GA, UK

Computers, Materials & Continua 2016, 51(3), 163-185.


Two linked models have been developed to explore the relationship between the amount of porosity arising in service from both radiolytic oxidation and fast neutron damage that influences both the strength and the force-displacement (load-displacement) behaviour and crack propagation in pile grade A graphite used as a nuclear reactor moderator material. Firstly models of the microstructure of the porous graphite for both unirradiated and irradiated graphite are created. These form the input for the second stage, simulating fracture in lattice-type finite element models, which predicts force (load)-displacement and crack propagation paths. Microstructures comprising aligned filler particles, typical of needle coke, in a porous matrix have been explored. The purpose was to isolate the contributions of filler particles and porosity to fracture strength and crack paths and consider their implications for the overall failure of reactor core graphite.


Reactor core graphite, Modelling microstructure, FE lattice model, Fracture strength, Crack path

Cite This Article

G. . Smith, E. . Schlangen, P. . Flewitt, A. . Crocker and A. . Hodgkins, "A model to describe the fracture of porous polygranular graphite subject to neutron damage and radiolytic oxidation," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 51, no.3, pp. 163–185, 2016.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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