X-ray computed tomography (X-ray CT) has been applied to nondestructively characterise changes in the microstructure of a concrete used in the pressure vessel structure of Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGR) in the UK. Concrete specimens were conditioned at temperatures of 105 °C and 250 °C, to simulate the maximum thermal load expected to occur during a loss of coolant accident (LOCA). Following thermal treatment, these specimens along with an unconditioned control sample were characterised using micro-focus X-ray CT with a spatial resolution of 14.6 microns. The results indicate that the air void pore structure of the specimens experienced significant volume changes as a result of the increasing temperature. The increase in the porous volume was more prevalent at 250 °C. Alterations in air void size distributions were characterized with respect to the unconditioned control specimen. These findings appear to correlate with changes in the uni-axial compressive strength of the conditioned concrete.
International Workshop NUCPERF 2012: Long-Term Performance of Cementitious Barriers and Reinforced Concrete in Nuclear Power Plant and Radioactive Waste Storage and Disposal (RILEM Event TC 226-CNM and EFC Event 351)
Journal / conference name:
EPJ Web of Conferences
Cadarache - France