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ASTM C781-20

ASTM C781-20

Standard Practice for Testing Graphite Materials for Gas-Cooled Nuclear Reactor Components

2020-06-17 /Active
Significance and Use:

4.1 Property data obtained with the recommended test methods identified herein may be used for research and development, design, manufacturing control, specifications, performance evaluation, and regulatory statutes pertaining to nuclear reactors that utilize graphite.

4.2 The referenced test methods are applicable primarily to specimens in the non-irradiated and non-oxidized state. Testing irradiated specimens often requires specimen geometries that do not meet the requirements of the standard. Specific instructions or recommendations with respect to testing non-conforming geometries can be found in STP 15784 and/or Guide D7775. When testing irradiated specimens at elevated temperatures, the effects of annealing should be considered (see Note 1).

Note 1: Exposure to fast neutron radiation will result in atomic and microstructural changes to graphite. This radiation damage occurs when energetic particles, such as fast neutrons, impinge on the crystal lattice and displace carbon atoms from their equilibrium positions, creating a lattice vacancy and an interstitial carbon atom. The lattice strain that results from displacement damage causes significant structural and property changes in the graphite and is a function of the irradiation temperature and dose. When the temperature of the graphite is brought above the temperature at which it was irradiated, enough energy is provided that the structure of the graphite will anneal back to its original condition. Therefore, measurement techniques that bring the specimen temperature above the irradiation temperature can result in property values that change during the measurement process. For this reason, measurements made on irradiated test specimens below the irradiation temperature will produce results that are representative of the irradiation damage. However, measurements made at temperatures above the irradiation temperature could include the effects of annealing.

4.3 Additional test methods are in preparation and will be incorporated. The user is cautioned to employ the latest revision.


1.1 This practice covers the application and limitations of test methods for measuring the properties of graphite materials. These properties may be used for the design and evaluation of gas-cooled reactor components.

1.2 The test methods referenced herein are applicable to materials used for replaceable and permanent components as defined in Section 7 and includes fuel elements; removable reflector elements and blocks; permanent side reflector elements and blocks; core support pedestals and elements; control rod, reserve shutdown, and burnable poison compacts; and neutron shield material. Specific aspects with respect to testing of irradiated materials are addressed.

1.3 This practice includes test methods that have been selected from ASTM standards and guides that are specific to the testing of materials listed in 1.2. Comments on individual test methods for graphite components are given in Section 8. The test methods are summarized in Table 1.

1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses after SI units are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

chemical properties; graphite; gas-cooled nuclear reactors; mechanical properties; neutronic properties; physical properties; thermal properties;
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