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A STUDY ON THE AGING DEGRADATION OF ETHYLENE-PROPYLENE-DIENE MONOMER (EPDM) UNDER LOCA CONDITION

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Abstract

The aging degradation and lifetime assessment of a domestic class 1E Ethylene-Propylene-Diene-Monomer (EPDM), which is a popular insulating elastomer for electrical cables in the nuclear power plants, were studied for equipment qualification verification under the Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) conditions. The specimens were acceleratively aged, underwent a LOCA environment, as well as tested mechanically, thermo-gravimetrically, and spectroscopically according to the American Society of the Testing of Materials (ASTM) procedures.The tensile test results revealed that the elongation at break gradually decreased with an increasing aging temperature. The lifetime of EPDM aged isothermally at 140 degrees C was 1,316 hours and reduced to 1,120 hours after experiencing the severe accident test. The activation energies of the elongation reduction were 1.10 +/- 0.196 eV and 0.93 +/- 0.191 eV before and after the LOCA condition, respectively. The TGA test results also showed that the activation energy of the aging decomposition decreased from 1.35 eV to 1.02 eV after undergoing the LOCA environment. Although the mechanical property changes were discernibly observed during the aging process, along with the LOCA simulation, the FT-IR analysis showed that the spectroscopic peaks and their intensities did not alter significantly. Therefore, it can be concluded that the degradation of the domestic class 1E EPDM due to aging can be tolerable, even in severe accident conditions such as LOCA, and thus it qualifies as a suitable insulating material for electrical cables in the nuclear power plants.This work was supported by Nuclear Research & Development Program of National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by Ministry of Education, Science & Technology(MEST) (Grant code : 2010-0017506

Topics: EPDM, Thermal Aging, Degradation, LOCA, Activation Energy, Tensile Test
Publisher: KOREAN NUCLEAR SOC
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.5516/NET.2011.43.3.279
OAI identifier: oai:repository.hanyang.ac.kr:20.500.11754/35286
Provided by: HANYANG Repository
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