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Equibiaxial Flexure Strength of a Superfine-Grained Nuclear Graphite

by Anne A Campbell, Andrew A Wereszczak, Josina W Geringer, Yutai Kato
Publication Type
Book Chapter
Publication Date
Page Numbers
18 to 33
Publisher Name
ASTM International
Publisher Location
West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, United States of America

The strength of advanced graphite is reported in accordance with ASTM D7846-16 using a two-parameter Weibull distribution for uniaxial strength testing. The rule of thumb for Weibull distributions is to use a minimum of 30 strength measurements to have a high level of confidence in the Weibull characteristic strength and the Weibull modulus. These large sample sets for statistical confidence are easily obtained for as-manufactured graphite, but determination of the Weibull two-factor parameters on graphite that has been exposed to neutron irradiation is nearly impossible due to irradiation testing restraints on specimen size and space limitations in test reactors for the accommodation of specimens. These restrictions have resulted in irradiation programs that use sub-sized specimens to measure uniaxial strength change, but the specimen geometries still hinder the number of replicate specimens for each irradiation condition. In contrast, this work used an advanced ceramic standard, ASTM C1499-05, as the foundation for equibiaxial strength testing of a superfine-grained nuclear graphite to investigate the irradiation-induced strength change and any changes to the two-parameter Weibull distribution. The goal was to investigate the effect of specimen size on the two-parameter Weibull distribution parameters in support of the small specimens and geometry desired for irradiation. A study of the effect of a reduced sample population was also undertaken to investigate the reliability of using the two-parameter Weibull distribution to study changes to the materials properties caused by neutron irradiation damage. The results of this work suggest that these equibiaxial specimens would be ideal for statistically significant studies of the effects of irradiation on the Weibull characteristic strength (but not the modulus) and for providing a method for surveillance specimen campaigns for future operating commercial reactors.