Material Science

  1. Metals that fracture with a relatively small or negligible amount of plastic strain exhibit _________
    Brittle fracture
  2. Metals that can sustain substantial plastic strain or deformation before fracturing exhibit _________
    Ductile fracture
  3. An indication of the amount of stress required to propagate a pre-existing flaw
    Fracture toughness
  4. The temperature above which a material is ductile and below which it is brittle
    Nil-Ductility Transition Temperature (NDTT)
  5. The temperature below which a material fails by brittle fracture. It is determined using both the Drop Weight and the Charpy V-Notch Tests.
    Reference Temperature (RTNDT)
  6. Image Upload 2
    Basic types of fractures
  7. Describe the two changes made to reactor pressure vessels to decrease (NDTT)
    Use of smaller grain size & small additions of selected alloying elements: nickel, manganese to low carbon steels
  8. State the effect of fast neutron irradiation on reactor vessel metals
    Heavier particles, such as alpha particles, neutrons, protons, and fission fragments, produce significant changes in the properties of metals. As a result of elastic collisions, appreciable energy can be transferred from the particle of radiation to the atoms of the metal. If the energy is sufficiently high, these atoms can be displaced from their equilibrium position within the lattice, and permanent physical changes are noted. This effect is known as radiation damage
  9. State how grain size and irradiation effects NDTT
    • Small grain size increases fracture toughness resulting in lower NDTT
    • The reactor vessel is continuously exposed to fast neutrons that escape the core. As a result the NDTT increases steadily
  10. List the conditions needed for brittle failure
    • Flaw such as a crack or notch resulting from design, fabrication, system modifications
    • Stress of sufficient intensity to develop a small deformation at the crack tip
    • Temperature low enough to promote brittle fracture
  11. State the conditions that tend to mitigate crack formation
    Large grain size, lower temperatures, and higher stress tend to favor crack propagation
  12. List the factors that determine the fracture toughness of a material
    Metal Composition, Metal Temperature, Extent of deformations to the crystal structure, Metal grain size, Metal Crystalline form
  13. Image Upload 4
    Stress Temperature Diagram
  14. State the two basics used for developing a minimum pressurization-temperature curve
    They are based on reactor vessel and head stress limitation and the need to preclude reactor vessel and head brittle fracture
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    • Note that the safe operating region is to the right of the reactor vessel MPT curve. The reactor vessel MPT
    • curve ensures adequate operating margin away from the Crack Arrest Curve discussed above. The curves used by operations also incorporate instrument error to ensure adequate safety margin. Because of the embrittling effects of neutron irradiation, the MPT curve will shift to the right over core life to account for the increased brittleness or decreased ductility
  16. List the normal actions taken in sequence, if the minimum pressurization-temperature curve is exceeded during critical operations
    Scram reactor, Cool down, depressurize the RCS, conduct an engineering evaluation prior to the further operation
  17. State the precautions of hydrostatic testing
    Make sure the pressure is consistent with plant temperatures
Card Set
Material Science
Chapter4 Brittle Fracture