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EP/I004351/1 - Revealing and Predicting the Failure Mechanisms in Advanced Materials for Energy - Enhancing Life and Efficiency

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Dr CM Davies EP/I004351/1 - Revealing and Predicting the Failure Mechanisms in Advanced Materials for Energy - Enhancing Life and Efficiency

Principal Investigator - Dept of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London

Scheme

Career Acceleration Fellowship

Research Areas

Performance and Inspection of Mechanical Structures and Systems Performance and Inspection of Mechanical Structures and Systems

Materials For Energy Applications Materials For Energy Applications

Collaborators

EDF-Energy EDF-Energy

E ON Central Networks plc E ON Central Networks plc

Start Date

10/2010

End Date

09/2015

Value

£589,859

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Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

The efficiency, safety and reliability of a wide range of engineering systems in the energy sector rely strongly on the performance of their structural components. Increasing energy efficiencies, achieved by maximising operating temperatures, will drive down CO2 emissions and is therefore essential to meet stringent legislation and the UK's and international short and long-term energy goals. Engineering components operate under adverse conditions (stress, temperature and harsh environments) causing their degradation and failure by deformation and fracture processes. Existing energy facilities are aging beyond design life and require life extension to secure short-term energy supplies. Reliable component lifetime assessment is therefore vital to ensure safe operation. New build nuclear reactors will soon be developed and future reactors designed for very high temperature operation and superior performance. Plans are also advanced for the construction of the next generation of conventional power stations with excess operating temperatures and efficiencies. Opportunities are now emerging to exploit a novel collection of innovative techniques, at micro and macro length scales, to obtain a fundamental understanding of material failure mechanisms. These will enable advanced materials and component designs with predictable in-service behaviour, which are crucial to innovation in the energy sector and the key for overcoming the outstanding challenges.Emerging experimental techniques can now reveal the processes, and quantify the extent of deformation and damage in a material as it occurs. High-energy X-ray tomography measurements will give detailed quantitative 3D volumetric insights of damage development, coalescence and failure mechanisms in the bulk of specimens at micro-length scales, during deformation under stress at temperature. In addition, complimentary non-destructive tools will be innovated for practical monitoring of large scale component degradation. At a range of length scales, a digital image correlation technique will be used to measure 3D surface strains on various geometries, and will provide evidence of the influence of defects and material inhomogeneities due to welding processes on strain fields and their evolution with time.High performance computing now facilitates advanced models to simulate material behaviour and structural components' response under various operating conditions. Experimental results will provide the basis for validated mechanistic models of material deformation and failure behaviour, which will be developed and incorporated into 3D computational models that can also include various regions of inhomogeneous material behaviour. This novel collection of advanced experimental techniques, combined with the verified computational models, will provide new powerful tools that are essential to understand and predict component failure, advance designs and optimise their operation.Initially, power plant steels will be examined. However, the methodologies developed can be extended to a wide range of materials relevant to e.g. aerospace, heat and power generation, marine and chemical technologies. The outcomes will lead to methods for component on-line monitoring, predictive multi-scale modelling of materials' initial and through-life properties and the development of accurate assessment procedures for component lifetime predictions that leads to the required plant life extension. Social and economical benefits include minimised environmental impacts, secure supplies, reduced maintenance costs and increased safety. The close collaboration with industry (including partners British/EDF Energy and E.ON) will provide an effective knowledge transfer mechanism between industry and academia, ensure industrial relevance and provide inspiration to a new generation of researchers. This fundamental, timely research is therefore valuable across industrial sectors in addition to the scientific community.

Structured Data / Microdata


Grant Event Details:
Name: Revealing and Predicting the Failure Mechanisms in Advanced Materials for Energy - Enhancing Life and Efficiency - EP/I004351/1
Start Date: 2010-10-01T00:00:00+02:00
End Date: 2015-09-30T00:00:00+02:00

Organization: Imperial College London

Description: The efficiency, safety and reliability of a wide range of engineering systems in the energy sector rely strongly on the performance of their structural components. Increasing energy efficiencies, achieved by maximising operating temperatures, will drive d ...