SiC/SiC composite materials have been proposed as an accident tolerant cladding for light water reactor applications. In order to be accepted for this purposes, they need to demonstrate suitable mechanical integrity under both normal and accident conditions. Peridynamics is a developing non-local technique able to predict cracking in both brittle and ductile materials with no need for the a priori introduction of crack patterns.
Using an Abaqus implementation of peridynamics, the model for SiC/SiC cladding has been developed by tuning and validation against C-ring compression tests reported in the literature. This builds upon the groups’ previous work modelling the fracture of nuclear fuel pellets.
The model will be able to predict not only when cracks are likely to develop, but their morphology and structure. It will include both thermal expansion due to the reduced thermal conductivity compared to traditional zirconium-based light water reactor alloys and the early-life irradiation swelling of the SiC/SiC cladding.
- Theory and application of Weibull distributions to 1D peridynamics for brittle solids
- Preliminary modelling of crack nucleation and propagation in SiC/SiC accident-tolerant fuel during routine operational transients using peridynamics
- Peridynamic simulations of the tetragonal to monoclinic phase transformation in zirconium dioxide
- Modelling explicit fracture of nuclear fuel pellets using peridynamics