Application of Weibull fracture strength distributions to modelling crack initiation behaviour in nuclear fuel pellets using peridynamics

Jones, L. D., Haynes, T. A. ORCID:, Rossiter, G. and Wenman, M. R. (2022) Application of Weibull fracture strength distributions to modelling crack initiation behaviour in nuclear fuel pellets using peridynamics. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 572. ISSN 0022-3115

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The thermomechanical behaviour of uranium dioxide nuclear fuel pellets irradiated in a pressurised water reactor has been simulated using a two-dimensional application of bond-based peridynamics implemented in the Abaqus commercial finite element software. Near-surface bond failure, and hence crack initiation, were modelled assuming a probabilistic (variable) failure strain described by a Weibull distribution – with bond failure, and hence crack propagation, in the bulk of the fuel pellets modelled assuming a deterministic (fixed) failure strain. The measured dependency of the number of radial pellet cracks on heat generation rate per unit length – which we show cannot be reproduced by the common assumption in pellet modelling of a deterministic failure strain throughout the pellet volume – was accurately predicted when a size-scaled Weibull distribution with a modulus of 5 was used. However, this low modulus value was associated with the prediction of some cracks initiating away from the pellet surface, which is unphysical. Use of a Weibull modulus of 10 avoided this simulation artefact while still reproducing the experimentally observed dependency with reasonable accuracy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgements: Lloyd Jones and Mark Wenman acknowledge support from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council through the Imperial-Cambridge-Open Centre for Doctoral Training, grant number EP/L015900/1, as well as financial support from the UK National Nuclear Laboratory. Thomas Haynes and Mark Wenman acknowledge support from National Nuclear Laboratory and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under the Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme. Data Availability: The authors do not have permission to share data.
Uncontrolled Keywords: ceramic material,crack mechanics and peridynamics,fracture,thermomechanical process,nuclear and high energy physics,materials science(all),nuclear energy and engineering ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3100/3106
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Engineering
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2022 10:32
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 10:30
DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2022.154087


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