Materials for the Power Generation Industry

Related to: Energy Generation & Storage

Structural analysis of materials used in power generation

The number one concern in the nuclear industry is operating safety and to ensure safety it is vital to understand the behaviour of materials involved and potential failure mechanisms.  An example is the zirc alloy material used to isolate radioactive material from the surrounding cooling water. The presence of ZrH precipitates increases risk of delayed hydrogen cracking (DHC). ZrH is difficult to distinguish from Zr alloys as Hydrogen is difficult to detect by X-ray spectroscopy methods. However, EBSD can be used to identify Hydrogen containing precipitates in the electron microscope and identify whether they are located near grain boundaries.

Materials for the Power Generation Industry figure 1
Materials for the Power Generation Industry figure 2

The image above shows the identification of ZrH precipitates near grain boundaries using EBSD

Our x-ray sources are used in the tools which verify the material compositions used in process refineries and nuclear reactors. This is critical for quality control and safety.  For fossil fuels, analysis of sulfur content in petroleum, and gas/water/oil mixtures in extraction products are essential for clean-burning low-cost petroleum.

Nuclear Life Time Monitoring in Nuclear Power Stations