Mechanical Property Testing

MPM manufactures mechanical property test machines and can perform routine mechanical property tests on a fee basis. In addition, MPM operates at the state-of-the-art in mechanical property test development.  MPM has developed several new test procedures including miniature Charpy specimen testing, beverage can testing, and miniature disk bend testing.

Mechanical Property Determination

MPM has a broad range of mechanical property test capabilities including the following:

  • Charpy/Izod impact testing
  • Fracture toughness testing
  • Tensile testing
  • Fatigue testing
  • Creep rupture/creep crack growth
  • Miniaturized Charpy, tensile, fatigue, and fracture toughness
  • Shock testing
  • Indentation
  • Corrosion testing

Surveillance Capsule Testing

The requirement to conduct a reactor pressure vessel (RPV) surveillance program is given in 10 CFR 50 Appendix H, and the detailed implementation is described in American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard E 185.  For most nuclear plants throughout the world, between 3 and 5 surveillance capsules (typically 3 for boiling water reactor (BWR) plants and 5 for pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants) were placed in the downcomer near the vessel inner diameter surface prior to initial startup.  These capsules usually contain neutron dosimeters, tensile specimens, Charpy specimens, and sometimes fracture toughness specimens.  These capsules are pulled and analyzed periodically throughout the plant life to monitor the neutron damage to the RPV.

Surveillance Testing Program

MPM maintains a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license to receive and test radioactive surveillance capsules.  This work is performed under the MPM Nuclear Quality Assurance Program.  The services provided under the MPM testing program are summarized below:

  • MPM provides the shipping container and the transportation from the plant site to MPM's laboratories
  • MPM provides the information needed for preparing the shipping papers
  • Capsule opening, inventory, and specimen cleaning
  • Dosimetry analysis to determine specific activities
  • Neutron transport analysis in accordance with Regulatory Guide 1.190
  • Mechanical property measurements for Charpy, tensile, and fracture toughness specimens
  • Waste disposal
  • Optional specimen storage
  • P-T curve calculation