Abstract

The printed circuit heat exchanger (PCHE) has small channels with high surface area, making them an efficient solution for next-generation nuclear plants (NGNPs). These PCHEs are fabricated through a diffusion bonding process. This fabrication step changes the microstructure of wrought metal plates. The current ASME design code does not support the PCHE design for NGNPs due to a lack of test data. Hence, there has been initiative towards elevated temperature mechanical property characterization of the diffusion bonded material. One of the most common channel shapes is a semicircular channel with sharp corners. These corners act as a stress riser at the diffusion bonding interface. Evaluating elevated temperature mechanical performance of diffusion bonded material in the presence of stress risers is an essential step towards the ASME code development of PCHE design. This study selected two specimen geometries: the first is a PCHE bar specimen for tensile loading with three rows and three columns of channels, and the second is a lab-scaled PCHE with six rows and eight columns of channels. A set of elevated temperature monotonic and cyclic tests were conducted on the PCHE bar specimen to evaluate the mechanical performance under axial tensile loadings to study the failure mechanism. The lab-scaled PCHE specimens were tested under overpressure loads at room temperature, and pressure creep and pressure creep-fatigue loadings to mimic the realistic loading conditions observed in typical NGNPs. The X-ray scans of channeled specimens show interesting observations. The test results and observations are presented in the paper.

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