Modelling the coefficient of thermal expansion in graphite crystals: Implications of lattice strain due to irradiation and pressure

Barry Marsden, Andrew Mummery, Paul Mummery

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Theoretical models for the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) first proposed in the 1970s are expanded upon, allowing them, for the first time, to be implemented over a wide temperature range. The models are of interest because they predict the effects of the changes in the crystal lattice spacing and crystallite modulus on the CTE. Hence, they can in turn be used to investigate the influence of pressure and irradiation on the CTE. To date, typographical and mathematical errors and incomplete or conflicting assumptions between the various papers had made the complex mathematical formulations difficult, if not impossible, to follow and apply. This paper has two main aims: firstly to revisit and review the CTE models, correcting the errors and compiling and updating various input data, secondly to use the revised models to investigate the effect of loading and irradiation on the CTE. In particular, the models have been applied to data for natural and highly orientated pyrolytic graphite and compared with experimental data, giving an insight into the influence of temperature, loading and irradiation on both single crystal and polycrystalline graphite. The findings lend credence to postulated microstructural mechanisms attributed to the in-reactor behaviour of nuclear graphite, which finds a wide use in predictive multiscale modelling.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
    Volume474
    Issue number2218
    Early online date1 Oct 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

    Keywords

    • Graphite crystal
    • Irradiation
    • Modelling
    • Polycrystalline graphite
    • Pressure
    • Thermal expansion

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