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Nuclear industry

Improving safety and reliability of new generation nuclear power plants

Industry

Nuclear power industry offering an alternative energy source is one of the most important to Russia with regard to the exhaustibility of oil, gas, and coal resources.

Safety is critical in nuclear industry, so the use of advanced materials is key for construction and repair of reliable nuclear power stations. This is achievable due to the high strength of carbon fiber tows composing the fabric and the superior adhesion of resin.

Efficient enrichment facilities for nuclear industry

Advantages of carbon composites

Carbon fiber composites are of interest to the nuclear power industry since they are non-corrodible, inert to magnetic exposure and retaining properties under extremely low temperature. The latter property of the carbon fiber allows for its use at the nuclear power plants in any part of the world regardless of the climate.

The primary advantages of carbon fiber are incredible strength and light weight.

  • Weight
  • High fatigue performance
  • High strength
  • Low deformability

Advantages of carbon fiber composites over metal.


Carbon fiber reinforced plastic improves the strength of concrete and brick structures by more than 100%


Carbon fiber reinforced plastic is non-corrodible


Carbon fiber versus other materials

Fiber type




Tensile strength, MPa Tensile modulus, GPa Elongation at break, % Density, g/cm3
Carbon fiber made of PAN precursor high strength, standard modulus 3500-5000 200-280 1.4-2.0 1.75-1.80
high strength, intermediate modulus 4500-7000 280-325 1.7-2.1 1.73-1.81
high modulus 3500-5000 325-450 0.7-1.4 1.75-1.85
ultra high modulus 2500-4000 450-600 0.7-1.0 1.85-1.95
Glass E-glass 2500-3800 70-75 4.5-4.7 2.5-2.7
S-glass 4000-4500 80-90 5.0-5.3 2.5
Organic Aramid 3000-3600 60-180 2.4-3.6 1.45
Polyethylene 200-3000 5-170 3-80 0.96
Steel high strength 1200-2800 200 3.5 7.8
stainless 800-2000 190 3.0 7.8
Basalt 3000-4800 90-110 3.0 2.6-2.8
Boron 3500-4000 350-400 0.5-0.7 2.6

Applications


Carbon fiber is used in nuclear power industry for repair/reinforcement of industrial buildings and structures.

One of the carbon fiber applications in nuclear power industry is manufacturing of gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment. This kind of equipment was formerly made of various aluminum alloys, but then carbon fiber proved to make significantly stronger and lighter items.

They are moving forward to the use of carbon fiber composites in the construction of nuclear power plants: fabrication and installation of reinforced concrete structures, composite pipes for cooling towers.

Historical background

In 2011, the strongest earthquake in Japan brought the least damage to those nuclear power plants reinforced with carbon fiber.

So, one can conclude that carbon fiber is a promising reinforcement for nuclear power facilities.

Summary


Carbon fiber is also a promising material for construction and repair of nuclear power plants showing superior strength that could reduce the cost of facility maintenance.