Next Generation Nuclear Power
A new ASTM International standard provides a rigorous test for evaluating certain parts of next-generation nuclear power plants, which incorporate new materials and technologies. Specifically, the new standard (C1819, Test Method for Hoop Tensile Strength of Continuous Fiber-Reinforced Advanced Ceramic Composite Tubular Test Specimens at Ambient Temperature Using Elastomeric Inserts) will test ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) that are used in tubing, fuel rods, control rods and other tubular components in nuclear power assemblies.
According to ASTM member Michael G. Jenkins, CMC materials are suitable for nuclear power plants because they exhibit low thermal expansion, resist degradation from irradiation and retain mechanical properties at elevated temperatures under high pressure.
"With the new standard, manufacturers, users and engineers will be able to better evaluate integrity, reliability and durability of these composites, helping to contribute to safety, reliability and performance of nuclear power plants," says Jenkins, president and chief engineer at Bothell Engineering and Science Technologies. Material producers, fabricators of nuclear components and quality control testers will be primary users of the standard.
While C1819 is now complete, ASTM Subcommittee C28.07 will continue to work on standards for CMCs. All interested parties, particularly those with experience testing CMCs, are encouraged to join that subcommittee.
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