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Master Thesis: Simulation, analysis and co-relation of prototype shear punch testing device

Advertising institute: IEK-4 - Plasma Physics
Reference number: D028/2018, Physics

Fusion reactor first wall materials such as tungsten, have to withstand major heat loads and plasma exposures. Various studies have shown that neutron damage further reduces the lifetime and reuseability of material components. Thus, stringent tests are needed to set boundary limits on operating parameters such as temperature, exposure and thickness. High activation of the samples has led to development of small scale testing techniques. These small scale techniques are used to quantify macroscopic properties in hot material environment.

A shear punch testing machine developed at Forschungzentrum Julich, is under prototype development stage and set for installation in summer of 2018. The design drawings are complete and the machine components are under production. This testing device is an advancement over the previous work performed and is an ideal ground to simulate loading and compliance situations using finite element analysis. Post assembly, various situations of loading conditions, sample thickness variations, punch sizes would be simulated in Ansys and implemented.

The shear punch will be a part of the small scale activated specimen testing facility. This facility also includes a new instrumented indentation setup which provides force - displacement curves with hardness measurements. Thereby, the measurements taken from the shear punch device would be compared to the instrumented indentation machine. The entire work would be presented as a master thesis in writing and presentation towards the end of the project.

Work plan

  • Assist in assembly, calibration and testing of prototype machine. The machine parts are under production and would be assembled shortly.
  • Perform detailed finite element analysis (ANSYS) simulation of sample and sample holder die stresses. Effect of sample size, punch diameter and die design change to be accounted. Additionally, machine compliance could be ascertained using the simulations.
  • Analyze improvement of prototype for hot cell environment.

The candidate should have a basic understanding of mechanics and finite element analysis, in particular ANSYS software skills.

Contact Person
Rahul Rayaprolu
Forschungszentrum Jülich
Institute of Energy and Climate Research
Plasma Physics (IEK-4)

Email :
Telefone: 02461 61-5126