Degradation of soft epoxy resin for cable penetrations induced by simulated severe accidents

Yoshimichi Ohki*, Hiroyuki Ishii, Naoshi Hirai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To obtain the knowledge that contributes to the safer operation of nuclear power plants and their prompt recovery and termination in the event of an accident, soft epoxy resins with rubber‐based additives—used as insulators and airtight sealants in electrical penetrations in nuclear power plants—were aged under several simulated severe accident environments with different conditions of heat, gamma rays, and exposure to superheated steam containing no oxygen. Then, changes in structural, dynamic mechanical, mechanical, and dielectric properties were examined. It has been found that this resin becomes hard as a result of cross‐linking if aged by irradiation with gamma rays. Since the cross‐linking slows down the molecular motions, the glass transition temperature increases, whereas the dielectric permittivity and the dielectric loss factor decrease unless the steam penetrates the sample. Although the sample melts and disappears if directly exposed to superheated steam at 171 °C or 200 °C, the irradiation with gamma rays conducted prior to the steam exposure can mitigate the hydrolysis induced by the steam. Although the soft epoxy resin shows drastic changes in various properties, its properties after the aging approach or exceed the corresponding ones of the non‐degraded ordinary hard epoxy resin. Therefore, it seems that using soft epoxy resin according to its purposes would not be a problem.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6932
JournalEnergies
Volume14
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 1

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Electrical insulation
  • Gamma rays
  • Nuclear power plant
  • Sealant
  • Steam exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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