Influence of heavy liquid metal alloys on the fracture properties of structural materials

SCK•CEN Mentor

Stergar Erich,, +32 (0)14 33 31 80

Expert group

Structural Materials

SCK•CEN Co-mentor

Lescur Amke , , +32 (0)14 3044


Because of their thermodynamic properties and their inherent safety heavy metal liquids such as lead or lead bismuth alloys are considered as promising coolants for future nuclear reactors.  Therefore, compatibility of structural materials and coolant is a critical issue. Beside corrosion mechanical properties of structural material could be affected. In order to determine the effect of liquid metals on the mechanical properties of candidate materials for future reactors unique test setups have been built at SCK•CEN. In this internship the student should learn how to operate one of these setups, analyze the gained data and perform subsequent microstructural and fractographic analysis.


Fracture toughness tests and fractography on austenitic steels in different environments (lead-bismuth eutectic, ArH2) will be conducted in this work. These tests will be complemented by microstructural investigations of the materials and by SEM analysis of the fracture surfaces.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

A2: Upper secondary school (+7th year BSO) , Professional bachelor , Academic bachelor