Fatigue crack nucleation and propagation in candidate nuclear materials under various environmental conditions


Seefeldt Marc, (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven)), marc.seefeldt@mtm.kuleuven.be

SCK•CEN Mentor

Marmy Pierre, pmarmy@sckcen.be, +32 (0)14 33 31 72

Expert group

Structural Materials

Short project description

Nuclear systems are built from materials satisfying strict specifications which ensure them to sustain operationnal cyclic  loadings during  very harsh conditions due to  irradiation and environment. It has been observed that coolants of GEN IV reactors such as Lead Bismuth Eutectic can have a negative influence on the fatigue life of some candidate materials.  Fatigue damage is induced by the nucleation of cracks which finally propagate and cause the rupture of the component. The cracks nucleate at the surface where they immediately interact with the surronding medium.  The physical mechanisms accelerating the nucleation and propagation of cracks will be identified by conducting mechanical experiments in three different media such as vacuum, air and LBE. The microstructural modifications at the crack tip will be investigated and  correlated with the mechanical results.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

Master of sciences

The candidate needs to have a background in

Physics , Materials engineering, mechanical engineering
Before applying, please consult the guidelines for application for PhD.