Physical modelling and modelling-oriented experiments for structural materials
Coordinated by Madalina Rabung, Fraunhofer IZFP (DE)
Modelling activities will provide knowledge, data and tools needed to interpret correctly and extrapolate to real conditions the experimental results devoted to the qualification of materials subjected to reactor-like conditions, as well as to assist in the elaboration of fabrication routes for innovative materials. The focus is on the understanding of the physical mechanisms that determine the response of the material under given conditions. Physical phenomena related to the synergistic effect of irradiation, temperature and environment cannot be supposed to be linear. Incubation times or doses and thermally activated processes may determine the appearance of totally unexpected materials responses above a certain dose or temperature of when subjected to a combination of stresses of different type. Thus, a physics-based prediction of the behaviour of materials in the envisaged in-service conditions must be based on some degree of fundamental understanding of the basic mechanisms acting from the atomic to the macroscopic level and determining their response to the applied environmental, thermal and mechanical loads, while being exposed to neutron irradiation. The build-up of this knowledge is crucial for the safe operation and design of all future nuclear installations.