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Understanding the effect of specimen size on the properties of fine-grain isotropic nuclear graphite for irradiation studies:...

by Anne A Campbell, Mary Snead, Yutai Kato
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Journal of Nuclear Materials
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Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are investigating the effects of neutron irradiation in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) on properties of fine-grain nuclear graphites. Specimens were irradiated in the HFIR flux trap, which required using specimens that are smaller than the sizes recommended by ASTM standards. This work has investigated whether subsized specimens can be used to reliably determine the measured physical (density, elastic moduli, and electrical resistivity) and thermal properties (coefficient of thermal conductivity and thermal conductivity). The results show the specimen sizes in this investigation had a minimal influence on any of the measured properties. Even for the properties where size influenced the measured value (density and thermal conductivity), an explanation is provided, and the consequences can be accounted for in post-irradiation results. This work demonstrated that using subsized specimens for physical and thermal property measurements is suitable when necessary for fine-grain isotropic graphite.