Sliding wear analysis of cobalt based alloys in nuclear reactor conditions

McCarron, Ruby, Stewart, David, Shipway, Philip and Dini, Daniele (2017) Sliding wear analysis of cobalt based alloys in nuclear reactor conditions. Wear, 376-377 (B). pp. 1489-1501. ISSN 1873-2577

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The study of the wear behaviour of cobalt based alloys in nuclear reactor environmental conditions is the focus of this work. The alloys are used in components within reactors due to their excellent wear and corrosion resistance and their high hardness in the high pressure and temperature water facing environment. In the nuclear reactor core, cobalt is irradiated producing a highly penetrative gamma emitting isotope, cobalt 60 from stable cobalt 59. Wear of the cobalt alloys, producing wear debris, exacerbates this problem as it may be transported and deposited at various locations throughout the primary loop increasing the potential of radiation exposure. Removing this problem will require the removal of cobalt from the system.

In order for suitable replacement materials to be identified, a better understanding of the behaviour of these alloys in the prototypical working conditions must be obtained. This work focuses on two cobalt based alloys used in the ball and race components of rolling element bearings in the reactor core, Stellite 20 and Haynes 25, respectively. The sliding wear behaviour of the alloys in an environment designed to replicate reactor conditions is examined using a bespoke pin on disc tribometer. Wear measurement and microstructural and compositional analysis of the samples tested over a range of conditions are presented and discussed.

Concurrent to the experimental work is the development of a wear prediction model using a semi analytical method. The model employs Archard’s wear law as the method of predicting wear using data obtained through experimentation. The accuracy of the semi analytical model is limited however it does give a good estimation for maximum wear depth of the test specimens.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Sliding wear; Cobalt-based alloys; Contact mechanics; Pin on disc; Wear prediction
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2017 08:50
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 18:42

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