Meng Li
PhD student
M.Sc. at China University of Petroleum-Beijing in 2017

Main project: Experimental and numerical investigations on the miniaturization for fracture toughness characterization of RPV materials
Funding: SCK·CEN
Supervisor(s): Thomas Pardoen

This project deals with the miniaturization of fracture toughness specimen for the characterization of the cracking resistance RPV materials. Indeed, in the nuclear field, the use of mechanics tests to measure fracture toughness of react pressure vessel (RPV) materials, is key for producing reliable integrity assessments and accurate residual life predictions. However, the space available inside irradiation facilities is extreme. Furthermore, the use of normal size specimens leads to significant of radioctive wastes. Miniature Compact Tension specimen, MC(T), as one of the geometries that offers significant advantages, can optimize the use of available material and generate meaningful fracture toughness values. But these specimens still do not comply with existing requirements due to (i) effect of geometry, (ii) effect of side grooving, (iii) effect of loss of constraint, etc. Therefore, in his research project, detailed numerical analysis combined with miniaturization tests are used. The final aim is to better qualify and validate the use of mini-CT geometry in both brittle and ductile fracture regimes.

IMMC main research direction(s):
Processing and characterisation of materials
Solid mechanics

finite elements
fracture mechanics

Research group(s): IMAP