Material Science for the Energy Industry


  2. A. Course Title: Material Science for the Energy Industry
    B. Course Number: INDT 213B - 10370
    C. Semester: Spring 2017
    D. Days/Time: Online
    E. Credit Hours: 3
    F. Instructor: Hotchkiss, Stephen
    G. Office: none
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: none
    J. Office Hours:
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s):
    M. Corequisite(s):
    N. Class Location: Virtual

    This course will introduce students to properties of materials used in most energy related industries along with the importance of material selection to safety, reliability, and the environment. This is a three credit hour course.


    This course will meet the requirements of the Energy Technology Degree at New Mexico Junior College; however, it is important to check with the institution to which you are planning to transfer to determine transferability. All students are encouraged to keep the course syllabus, as it will help determine the transferability of this course credit to another institution



    Available for free download in PDF or for purchase in book form.

    Department of Energy Fundamentals Handbook: Material Science Volume 1 of 2

    Department of Energy Fundamentals Handbook: Material Science Volume 2 of 2


    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    Credit will not be given for assignments turned in late without prior approval.

    Each of the course modules are taken directly from the DOE handbooks available for download from the MODULES tab in Canvas. For maximum effectiveness, you should read each of the chapters prior to viewing/performing the electronic courses.

    All quizzes and the final exam will be based mainly on your reading. These assessments will consist of multiple choice, true/false, complete the statement, and short essay style questions. The quizzes will be 50% essay questions in total, but will not be evenly distributed on each quiz. The final exam will have short essay questions only.

    Your grade is determined as follows:
    1 % - Mod 0 Quiz
    33% - Mod 1-5 Quizzes AND Discussions
    33% - Research Paper
    33% - Final Exam

    *No final grade will be given without completing ALL assignments.
    *A grade of 0 points will be assigned to all late submissions not previously approved by me.

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    Tips for Success in Online Courses:
    1. Log in to class regularly.
    2. Pay attention.
    3. Take notes.
    4. Keep up with readings and assignments.
    5. Ask questions when you do not understand something.
    6. Utilize your professor’s office hours and e-mail.
    7. Read the text.
    8. Adhere to the deadlines posted in the course outline.


    New Mexico Junior Collegeís institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    The objective of this course is to help students understand the basics and applications of materials, mainly metals, used in the nuclear power industry. The structures discussed here are applicable to electrical conductivity, radiation shielding, temperature control, and many other applications outside of the nuclear field.


    Week 1, Module 1
    Structure of Steel

    1.0 DESCRIBE the bonding and patterns that effect the structure of a metal.
    1.1 STATE the five types of bonding that occur in materials and their characteristics.
    1.2 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Crystal structure
    b. Body-centered cubic structure
    c. Face-centered cubic structure
    d. Hexagonal close-packed structure
    1.3 STATE the three lattice-type structures in metals.
    1.4 Given a description or drawing, DISTINGUISH between the three most common types of crystalline structures.
    1.5 IDENTIFY the crystalline structure possessed by a metal.
    1.6 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Grain
    b. Grain structure
    c. Grain boundary
    d. Creep
    1.7 DEFINE the term polymorphism.
    1.8 IDENTIFY the ranges and names for the polymorphism phases associated with uranium metal.
    1.9 IDENTIFY the polymorphism phase that prevents pure uranium from being used as fuel.
    1.10 DEFINE the term alloy.
    1.11 DESCRIBE an alloy as to the three possible micro-structures and the two general characteristics as compared to pure metals.
    1.12 IDENTIFY the two desirable properties of type 304 stainless steel.
    1.13 IDENTIFY the three types of microscopic imperfections found in crystalline structures.
    1.14 STATE how slip occurs in crystals.
    1.15 IDENTIFY the four types of bulk defects.

    WEEK 2 & 3, Module 2
    Properties of Metals

    Contains information on the properties considered when selecting material for a nuclear facility. Each of the properties contains a discussion on how the property is affected and the metal's application.

    2.0 DESCRIBE how changes in stress, strain, and physical and chemical properties effect the materials used in a reactor plant.
    2.1 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Stress
    b. Tensile stress
    c. Compressive stress
    d. Shear stress
    e. Compressibility
    2.2 DISTINGUISH between the following types of stresses by the direction in which stress is applied.
    a. Tensile
    b. Compressive
    c. Shear
    2.3 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Strain
    b. Plastic deformation
    c. Proportional limit
    2.4 IDENTIFY the two common forms of strain.
    2.5 DISTINGUISH between the two common forms of strain as to dimensional change.
    2.6 STATE how iron crystalline lattice, „ and Š, structure deforms under load.
    2.7 STATE Hooke's Law.
    2.8 DEFINE Young's Modulus (Elastic Modulus) as it relates to stress.
    2.9 Given the values of the associated material properties, CALCULATE the elongation ofa material using Hooke's Law.
    2.10 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Bulk Modulus
    b. Fracture point
    2.11 Given stress-strain curves for ductile and brittle material, IDENTIFY the following specific points on a stress-strain curve.
    a. Proportional limit
    b. Yield point
    c. Ultimate strength
    d. Fracture point
    2.12 Given a stress-strain curve, IDENTIFY whether the type of material represented is ductile or brittle.
    2.13 Given a stress-strain curve, INTERPRET a stress-strain curve for the following:
    a. Application of Hooke's Law
    b. Elastic region
    c. Plastic region
    2.14 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Strength
    b. Ultimate tensile strength
    c. Yield strength
    d. Ductility
    e. Malleability
    f. Toughness
    g. Hardness
    2.15 IDENTIFY how slip effects the strength of a metal.
    2.16 DESCRIBE the effects on ductility caused by:
    a. Temperature changes
    b. Irradiation
    c. Cold working
    2.17 IDENTIFY the reactor plant application for which high ductility is desirable.
    2.18 STATE how heat treatment effects the properties of heat-treated steel and carbon steel.
    2.19 DESCRIBE the adverse effects of welding on metal including types of stress and method(s) for minimizing stress.
    2.20 STATE the reason that galvanic corrosion is a concern in design and material selection.
    2.21 DESCRIBE hydrogen embrittlement including the two required conditions and theformation process.
    2.22 IDENTIFY why zircaloy-4 is less susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement than zircaloy-2.

    WEEK 4, Module 3
    Thermal Shock

    Contains material relating to thermal stress and thermal shock effects on a system. Explains how thermal stress and shock combined with pressure can cause major damage to components.

    3.0 DESCRIBE the importance of minimizing thermal shock (stress).
    3.1 IDENTIFY the two stresses that are the result of thermal shock (stress) to plant materials.
    3.2 STATE the two causes of thermal shock.
    3.3 Given the materialís coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion, CALCULATE the thermal shock (stress) on a material using Hookeís Law.
    3.4 DESCRIBE why thermal shock is a major concern in reactor systems when rapidly heating or cooling a thick-walled vessel.
    3.5 LIST the three operational limits that are specifically intended to reduce the severity of thermal shock.
    3.6 DEFINE the term pressurized thermal shock.
    3.7 STATE how the pressure in a closed system effects the severity of thermal shock.
    3.8 LIST the four plant transients that have the greatest potential for causing thermal shock.
    3.9 STATE the three locations in a reactor system that are of primary concern for thermal shock.

    WEEK 5, Module 4,
    Module 4 Brittle Fracture

    Contains material on ductile and brittle fracture. These two fractures are the most common in nuclear facilities. Explains how ductile and brittle fracture is affected by the minimum pressurization and temperature curves. Explains the reason why heat up and cool down rate limits are used when heating up or cooling down the reactor system.
    4.0 EXPLAIN the importance of controlling heatup and cooldown ratesof the primary coolant system.
    4.1 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Ductile fracture
    b. Brittle fracture
    c. Nil-ductility Transition (NDT) Temperature
    4.2 DESCRIBE the two changes made to reactor pressure vessels to decrease NDT.
    4.3 STATE the effect grain size and irradiation have on a materialís NDT.
    4.4 LIST the three conditions necessary for brittle fracture to occur.
    4.5 STATE the three conditions that tend to mitigate crack initiation.
    4.6 LIST the five factors that determine the fracture toughness of a material.
    4.7 Given a stress-temperature diagram, IDENTIFY the following points:
    a. NDT (with no flaw)
    b. NDT (with flaw)
    c. Fracture transition elastic point
    d. Fracture transition plastic point
    4.8 STATE the two bases used for developing a minimum pressurization-temperature curve.
    4.9 EXPLAIN a typical minimum pressure-temperature curve including:
    a. Location of safe operating region
    b. The way the curve will shift due to irradiation
    4.10 LIST the normal actions taken, in sequence, if the minimum pressurization-temperaturecurve is exceeded during critical operations.
    4.11 STATE the precaution for hydrostatic testing.
    4.12 IDENTIFY the basis used for determining heatup and cooldown rate limits.
    4.13 IDENTIFY the three components that will set limits on the heatup and cooldown rates.
    4.14 STATE the action typically taken upon discovering the heatup or cooldown rate has been
    4.15 STATE the reason for using soak times.
    4.16 STATE when soak times become very significant.

    Week 6 & 7, Module 5
    Plant Materials

    Contains information on the commonly used materials and the characteristics desired when selecting material for use.

    5.0 DESCRIBE the considerations commonly used when selectingmaterial for use in a reactor plant.
    5.1 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Machinability
    b. Formability
    c. Stability
    d. Fabricability
    5.2 IDENTIFY the importance of a material property and its application in a reactor plant.
    5.3 LIST the four radioactive materials that fission by thermal neutrons and are used as reactor fuels.
    5.4 STATE the four considerations in selecting fuel material and the desired effect on the nuclear properties of the selected fuel material.
    5.5 STATE the four major characteristics necessary in a material used for fuel cladding.
    5.6 IDENTIFY the four materials suitable for use as fuel cladding material and their applications.
    5.7 STATE the purpose of a reflector.
    5.8 LIST the five essential requirements for reflector material in a thermal reactor.
    5.9 STATE the five common poisons used as control rod material.
    5.10 IDENTIFY the advantage(s) and/or disadvantages of the five common poisons used as control rod material.
    5.11 DESCRIBE the requirements of a material used to shield against the following types of radiation:
    a. Beta
    b. Gamma
    c. High energy neutron
    d. Low energy neutron
    5.12 STATE the nuclear reactor core problems and causes associated with the following:
    a. Pellet-cladding interaction
    b. Fuel densification
    c. Fuel cladding embrittlementd. Fuel burnup and fission product swelling.
    5.13 STATE the measures taken to counteract or minimize the effects of the following:
    a. Pellet-cladding interaction
    b. Fuel densification
    c. Fuel cladding embrittlement
    d. Fission product swelling of a fuel element
    5.14 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Fatigue failure
    b. Work hardening
    c. Creep
    5.15 STATE the measures taken to counteract or minimize the effects of the following:
    a. Fatigue failure
    b. Work hardening
    c. Creep
    5.16 STATE how the following types of radiation interact with metals:
    a. Gamma
    b. Alpha
    c. Beta
    d. Fast neutron
    e. Slow neutron
    5.17 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Knock-on
    b. Vacancy
    c. Interstitial
    5.18 DEFINE the following terms:
    a. Thermal spike
    b. Displacement spike
    5.19 STATE the effect a large number of displacement spikes has on the properties of a metal.
    5.20 DESCRIBE how the emission of radiation can cause dislocation of the atom emitting the radiation.
    5.21 STATE the two effects on a crystalline structure resulting from the capture of a neutron.
    5.22 STATE how thermal neutrons can produce atomic displacements.
    5.23 STATE how gamma and beta radiation effect organic materials.
    5.24 IDENTIFY the change in organic compounds due to radiation.
    a. Nylon
    b. High-density polyethylene marlex 50
    c. Rubber
    5.25 IDENTIFY the chemical bond with the least resistance to radiation.
    5.26 DEFINE the term polymerization.
    5.27 STATE the applications and the property that makes aluminum desirable in reactors operating at:
    a. Low kilowatt power
    b. Low temperature ranges
    c. Moderate temperature range
    5.28 STATE why aluminum is undesirable in high temperature power reactors.


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    Structure of Metals
    Learn the basic structure of metals and how those structures are affected by various processes.

    Module 2

    Properties of Metals
    Understand the properties considered when selecting material for a nuclear facility.

    Module 3

    Thermal Shock
    Define and explain thermal stress and thermal shock effects on a system. Explains how thermal stress and shock combined with pressure can cause major damage to components.


    Module 4

    Brittle Fracture
    Differentiate between ductile and brittle failures. Explain how to use pressurization and temperature curves. Explain why heat up and cool down rate limits are used in the operation of the reactor plant.

    Module 5

    Plant Materials
    Be introduced to materials commonly used in reactor plants and the characteristics desired when selecting material for use.


    FINAL EXAM 8 May - 12 May 2017