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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/I004351/1
Title Revealing and Predicting the Failure Mechanisms in Advanced Materials for Energy - Enhancing Life and Efficiency
Status Completed
Energy Categories Nuclear Fission and Fusion(Nuclear Fission, Other nuclear fission) 40%;
Not Energy Related 20%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electric power conversion) 40%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr CM Davies
No email address given
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Imperial College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2010
End Date 30 September 2015
Duration 60 months
Total Grant Value £589,859
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region London
Programme Energy : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr CM Davies , Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , EDF Energy (0.000%)
Project Contact , E.ON E&P UK Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract The efficiency, safety and reliability of a wide range of engineering systems in the energy sector rely strongly on the performance of their structural components. Increasing energy efficiencies, achieved by maximising operating temperatures, will drive down CO2 emissions and is therefore essential to meet stringent legislation and the UK's and international short and long-term energy goals. Engineering components operate under adverse conditions (stress, temperature and harsh environments) causing their degradation and failure by deformation and fracture processes. Existing energy facilities are aging beyond design life and require life extension to secure short-term energy supplies. Reliable component lifetime assessment is therefore vital to ensure safe operation. New build nuclear reactors will soon be developed and future reactors designed for very high temperature operation and superior performance. Plans are also advanced for the construction of the next generation of conventional power stations with excess operating temperatures and efficiencies. Opportunities are now emerging to exploit a novel collection of innovative techniques, at micro and macro length scales, to obtain a fundamental understanding of material failure mechanisms. These will enable advanced materials and component designs with predictable in-service behaviour, which are crucial to innovation in the energy sector and the key for overcoming the outstanding challenges.Emerging experimental techniques can now reveal the processes, and quantify the extent of deformation and damage in a material as it occurs. High-energy X-ray tomography measurements will give detailed quantitative 3D volumetric insights of damage development, coalescence and failure mechanisms in the bulk of specimens at micro-length scales, during deformation under stress at temperature. In addition, complimentary non-destructive tools will be innovated for practical monitoring of large scale component degradation. At a range of length scales, a digital image correlation technique will be used to measure 3D surface strains on various geometries, and will provide evidence of the influence of defects and material inhomogeneities due to welding processes on strain fields and their evolution with time.High performance computing now facilitates advanced models to simulate material behaviour and structural components' response under various operating conditions. Experimental results will provide the basis for validated mechanistic models of material deformation and failure behaviour, which will be developed and incorporated into 3D computational models that can also include various regions of inhomogeneous material behaviour. This novel collection of advanced experimental techniques, combined with the verified computational models, will provide new powerful tools that are essential to understand and predict component failure, advance designs and optimise their operation.Initially, power plant steels will be examined. However, the methodologies developed can be extended to a wide range of materials relevant to e.g. aerospace, heat and power generation, marine and chemical technologies. The outcomes will lead to methods for component on-line monitoring, predictive multi-scale modelling of materials' initial and through-life properties and the development of accurate assessment procedures for component lifetime predictions that leads to the required plant life extension. Social and economical benefits include minimised environmental impacts, secure supplies, reduced maintenance costs and increased safety. The close collaboration with industry (including partners British/EDF Energy and E.ON) will provide an effective knowledge transfer mechanism between industry and academia, ensure industrial relevance and provide inspiration to a new generation of researchers. This fundamental, timely research is therefore valuable across industrial sectors in addition to the scientific community
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 07/12/10