Development of a MatLab (or Python) user interface for EngInit - A tool for stress corrosion crack initiation evaluation of nickel-base alloys exposed to primary pressurized water reactor environments.

SCK•CEN Mentor

Vankeerberghen Marc,, +32 (0)14 33 31 82

Expert group

Structural Materials


Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) of nickel-base alloys is an issue in current, generation II/III, pressurized-water reactors (PWRs) used to produce electricity in a nuclear power plant.

In the structural materials expert group of SCK•CEN, the Belgian nuclear research center, we take part in national and international studies in respect of SCC initiation by performing experiments and developing modelling tools.


In this master thesis the aim is to develop a MatLab (or Python) interface to EngInit, a design and evaluation approach for SCC initiation.  The interface is to be user friendly and applicable to constant elongation rate tests (CERTs) performed on nickel-base alloys in simulated primary water of pressurized water reactors.  The CERTs are performed on flat, tapered tensile specimens in an autoclave.  The analysis of the results yields as a minimum a post-test apparent threshold for SCC initiation.  However, EngInit, being a design and evaluation approach for SCC initiation, can extract more information from the CERT.

It is the purpose of this thesis to develop the EngInit interface so that one can:

  1. Evaluate the SCC performance of a flat, tapered, tensile specimen that has been subject to a known loading history in a given environment.
  2. Obtain EngInit parameters for a given material in a given environment by comparing EngInit predictions to observations.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

Academic bachelor , Professional bachelor , Master of industrial sciences , Master of sciences , Master of sciences in engineering

The candidate needs to have a background in

Mathematics , Informatics , Stress-strain calculations