Skip to main content

Effect of microstructure and temperature on nuclear graphite oxidation using the 3D Random Pore Model...

by Ryan M Paul, Jose' D Arregui Mena, Cristian I Contescu, Nidia C Gallego
Publication Type
Journal Name
Publication Date
Page Numbers
132 to 145

This work compared the 3D Random Pore Model (3D-RPM) with experimental and characterization data to systematically study the effect of nuclear graphite microstructure and air oxidation temperature. It is well known that oxidation-induced weight loss at elevated temperatures degrades graphite structure and properties; however, a fundamental understanding of the role of graphite microstructure is still unclear. In this work, three diverse grades of nuclear graphite—IG-110, NBG-18, and PCEA—were examined and tested at air oxidation temperatures of 600, 650, 700, and 750 °C following ASTM D7542. The 3D-RPM reproduced the microstructure and temperature dependence of mass loss curves for these grades. For the first time, measurements and modeling were combined to show how bulk density and the amount and spatial distribution of open and closed porosity affects oxidation. IG-110 was less dense and had an open pore network that is finer and more uniformly spread, and showed fastest oxidation. PCEA porosity was less uniform and showed less oxidation, while NBG-18 was more dense, had the least fine and uniform porosity, and showed the slowest oxidation. In general, oxidation proceeds faster if open porosity is more uniformly distributed and can incrementally access closed pore surface area with more ease.