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Meeting Materials Science & Technology 2019
Symposium Materials for Nuclear Applications
Presentation Title Unveiling SiC/SiC CMC Cladding Failure Mechanisms and Hermetic Performance with In-situ 3D-Digital Image Correlation
Author(s) Clifton Bumgardner, Frederick M Heim, Xiaodong Li
On-Site Speaker (Planned) Clifton Bumgardner
Abstract Scope We unveil a custom four-point bend, hermeticity test rig for evaluation of the coupled mechanical and hermeticity performance of SiC/SiC CMC nuclear fuel claddings. This rig integrates in-situ digital image correlation, acoustic emission monitoring, and leak detection to develop an in-process understanding of crack initiation and propagation, leading to loss of hermeticity under load. These tests have illustrated that loss of hermeticity begins after the onset of matrix microcracking, indicating hermeticity is dependent on matrix properties. In-situ XCT expanding plug testing also elucidate fracture mechanisms and interactions between fracture and CMC microstructure, indicating a limited degree of matrix porosity may help arrest crack propagation and delay loss of hermeticity. These insights are expected to inform manufacturing of CMC claddings for optimal performance in reactor environments and will provide key inputs for fracture mechanics models under development for CMCs, including strain distribution along individual tows and local strain concentrations driving fracture.
Proceedings Inclusion? Definite: At-meeting proceedings

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Thermophysical Properties of Binary Cl & F Compositions for Next Generation Molten Salt Reactors
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