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Carbon Characterization Laboratory

 
CCL.jpg
The Carbon Characterization Laboratory (CCL) is capable of characterizing and testing carbon-based materials such as graphite, carbon-carbon composites and silicon carbide composites. It was originally designed to support INL’s nuclear graphite R&D program. Over more than eight years, this materials properties testing laboratory has continuously expanded to include graphite, composites, metallic and ceramic material testing. New capabilities are being added to the laboratory to provide greater flexibility in handling low-radiation-level materials to assist in current and future university and international collaborations. 

The department has the capability to tether together 6 radiation insertion experiments, with more than 400 graphite specimens in each, to acquire creep measurements. It also oversees NQA-1 compliant fabrication and characterization of more than 5,000 graphite specimens for the Advanced Graphite Creep experiment. Pre- and post-irradiation characterization of specimens provides data that will be required to choose, design and qualify the graphite core of the next Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR). 

Characterization capabilities include thermal diffusivity, specific heat, coefficient of thermal expansion, resistivity, sonic velocity, and elastic modulus of graphite specimens for the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR)-Advanced Graphite Creep experiments. Measurement processes are automated with custom user interfaces and barcode sample tracking with all measurements being fully Nuclear Quality Assurance-1 (NQA-1) compliant.

The department has the capability to tether together 6 radiation insertion experiments, with more than 400 graphite specimens in each, to acquire creep measurements. It also oversees NQA-1 compliant fabrication and characterization of more than 5,000 graphite specimens for the Advanced Graphite Creep experiment. Pre- and post-irradiation characterization of specimens provides data that will be required to choose, design and qualify the graphite core of the next Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR). The lab’s capabilities include:

Physical and thermo-physical properties can be evaluated for a wide range of materials from metals to ceramics

Instrumentation, fixtures and methods in place for pre- and post- irradiation measurements of: 
- bulk density
- thermal diffusivity
- coefficient of thermal expansion
- elastic modulus
- electrical resistivity

Ability to measure properties including:
- physical dimensions and mass
- fundamental frequency
- sonic velocity
- 4-point electrical resistivity
- laser flash diffusivity
- push rod dilatometry 

Measurement protocol consisting of functional validation, calibration and automated data acquisition