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Understanding low temperature properties of elastomer seals

  • Elastomers are widely used as the main sealing materials for containers for low and intermediate level radioactive waste and as an additional component to metal seals in spent fuel and high active waste containers. The safe encapsulation of the radioactive container inventory has to be guaranteed according to regulation and appropriate guidelines for long term storage periods as well as for temperatures as low as -40°C during transport. Therefore, the understanding of failure mechanisms that lead to leakage at low temperatures is of high importance. It is known that the material properties of elastomers are strongly temperature dependent. At low temperatures, this is caused by the rubber-glass transition (abbreviated: glass transition). During continuous cooling, the material changes from a rubber-like entropy elastic to a stiff energy elastic behaviour, which allows nearly no strain or retraction. Hence, rubbers are normally used above their glass transition, but the minimum workingElastomers are widely used as the main sealing materials for containers for low and intermediate level radioactive waste and as an additional component to metal seals in spent fuel and high active waste containers. The safe encapsulation of the radioactive container inventory has to be guaranteed according to regulation and appropriate guidelines for long term storage periods as well as for temperatures as low as -40°C during transport. Therefore, the understanding of failure mechanisms that lead to leakage at low temperatures is of high importance. It is known that the material properties of elastomers are strongly temperature dependent. At low temperatures, this is caused by the rubber-glass transition (abbreviated: glass transition). During continuous cooling, the material changes from a rubber-like entropy elastic to a stiff energy elastic behaviour, which allows nearly no strain or retraction. Hence, rubbers are normally used above their glass transition, but the minimum working temperature limit is not defined precisely; this can cause problems during the above noted applications. Therefore, the lower operation temperature limit of elastomer seals must be determined in dependence of the material properties. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) are combined with standardised measurements to determine the compression set according to ISO 815. To reduce the test time of the standard tests, a faster technique than normally used was developed. Additionally, the breakdown temperature of the sealing function of complete O ring seals was measured in a component test set-up to compare it with the results of the other tests. The experimental set-up is capable of measuring the leakage rate at low temperatures by the pressure rise method. A fluorocarbon rubber (FKM) was selected for this investigation as it is often used for radioactive waste containers. The materials (seals and test sheets) were purchased from a commercial seal producer.zeige mehrzeige weniger

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Metadaten
Autoren/innen:Matthias Jaunich, Kerstin von der Ehe, Dietmar Wolff, Holger Völzke, Wolfgang Stark
Dokumenttyp:Zeitschriftenartikel
Veröffentlichungsform:Verlagsliteratur
Sprache:Englisch
Titel des übergeordneten Werkes (Englisch):Packaging, transport, storage & security of radioactive materials (RAMTRANS)
Jahr der Erstveröffentlichung:2011
Verlag:Ramtrans Publ.
Verlagsort:Ashford
Jahrgang/Band:22
Ausgabe/Heft:2
Erste Seite:83
Letzte Seite:88
Freie Schlagwörter:Compression set; Dynamic mechanical analysis; Elastomer; Low temperature behaviour; Sealing material
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1179/1746510911Y.0000000004
ISSN:1746-5095
ISSN:1746-5109
ISSN:0957-476X
Verfügbarkeit des Dokuments:Datei im Netzwerk der BAM verfügbar ("Closed Access")
Datum der Freischaltung:19.02.2016
Referierte Publikation:Nein