Metal-to-glass electrical penetration assemblies (EPA) are highly sophisticated equipment and have been used for electrical connection in containment structures or pressure vessels in nuclear plants because of their high temperature resistance and good hermeticity. One important factor to keep hermeticity and reliability can be attributed to the initial residual stress in sealing glass of metal-to-glass EPA. If the residual stress is too high, small defects easily take place in the sealing materials. An insufficient prestress also cannot meet the requirement of high pressure application. To study the influence of residual stress on hermeticity, we developed a novel method of residual stress measurement in metal-glass sealing based on an embedded optical fiber sensor. The fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensor was embedded in the glass material during the EPA manufacturing, and the residual stress along the grating could be retrieved via optical fiber sensing technique. Basing on our existing metal-glass sealing technique, the initial residual stress could be modulated by changing the sealing process, then the change of different initial residual stress was measured by the embedded FBG, through which the impact of residual stress on metal-glass sealing hermeticity could be finally revealed. A finite element model was established basing on linear elastic theory, then the localized stress along the FBG and the global stress distribution had been investigated theoretically. Taking the stress measuring by FBG as a breakthrough point, the effect of initial residual stress on sealing hermeticity was studied experimentally. The results showed that the residual stress should be an important assessment indicator to metal-to-glass sealing. This research also provided a new approach to optimize EPA manufacture.

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