Effects of neutron irradiation on densities and elastic properties of aggregate-forming minerals in concrete

WP Zhang and H Liu and Y Zhou and KX Liao and Y Huang, NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, 55, 2147-2157 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.net.2023.03.021

The aggregate-forming minerals in concrete undergo volume swelling and microstructure change under neutron irradiation, leading to degradation of physical and mechanical properties of the aggregates and concrete. A comprehensive investigation of volume change and elastic property variation of major aggregate-forming minerals is still lacking, so molecular dynamics simulations have been employed in this paper to improve the understanding of the degradation mechanisms. The results demonstrated that the densities of the selected aggregate-forming minerals of similar atomic structure and chemical composition vary in a similar trend with deposited energy due to the similar amorphization mechanism. The elastic tensors of all silicate minerals are almost isotropic after saturated irradiation, while those of irradiated carbonate minerals remain anisotropic. Moreover, the elastic modulus ratio versus density ratio of irradiated minerals is roughly following the density-modulus scaling relationship. These find-ings could further provide basis for predicting the volume and elastic properties of irradiated concrete aggregates in nuclear facilities.(c) 2023 Korean Nuclear Society, Published by Elsevier Korea LLC. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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