Ongoing research projects


Ongoing research projects in iMMC (February 2020)

This a short description of research projects which are presently under progress in iMMC.
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Biomedical engineering

Computational science

Civil and environmental engineering

Dynamical and electromechanical systems


Fluid mechanics

Processing and characterisation of materials

Chemical engineering

Solid mechanics

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List of projects related to: tungsten, fusion

Crystal plasticity modelling of thermomechanical fatigue in ITER relevant tungsten
Researcher: Aleksandr Zinovev
Supervisor(s): Laurent Delannay

Tungsten, selected as plasma-facing material for fusion reactors (such as ITER and DEMO), needs to possess high crack resistance and ductility under extreme operation conditions, such as high neutron flux and cyclic thermal load, which lead to material degradation. The objective of this project is to develop a finite element (FE) model capable to simulate mechanical behaviour of polycrystalline tungsten under tensile testing with the focus made on effect of test temperature and irradiation-induced defects. The input for the model is derived from experiments and lower-scale models, such as crystal plasticity (CP), molecular dynamics (MD) and dislocation dynamics (DD). A combination of FE and CP approach allows for investigation of mechanical behaviour of tungsten at the grain level.
The following scientific questions have to be addressed in the frame of this PhD project:
How does the heterogeneity of stress and strain within grains affect the cracking behaviour of tungsten under ITER-like heat loads? How can the impact of neutron irradiation defects be included in the CP model? What is the effect of texture on anisotropy of plastic deformation and fracture properties?
A macroscopic constitutive law, which describes plasticity of tungsten in the ITER-relevant temperature range, has already been constructed. Based on that, two papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Development and qualification of irradiation tolerant tungsten and novel toughness-enhanced composites for fusion applications
Researcher: Chao Yin
Supervisor(s): Thomas Pardoen

This research aims at investigation of the radiation damage and post-irradiation mechanical-thermal behavior of tungsten. Tungsten selected as the first wall armor and Tungsten-based composites for structural applications in DEMO are expected to receive doses up to 20 dpa (Fe) (for the EARLY DEMO) or even higher (full power DEMO) [1]. Under these conditions, the mechanical properties of the materials are known to degrade radically due to (i) neutron irradiation, (ii) heat transients, (iii) plasma gas uptake and (iv) nuclear transmutation. Thus, this investigation is called by the need to validate the performance of novel and baseline garde tungsten. This project will include the experiemental study of reference and irradiated materials carried out by mechanical test and microstructure investigation.