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Flow-through cell for testing purposes.

The surface of a nuclear fuel or steam generator tube is a place of many challenges. There is a continuous flow on the surface, there is a considerable temperature difference between the solid surface and the fluid and additionally, local boiling takes place. The environment inside the supporting plates can be different from the bulk environment in the flowing fluid.

Crevice corrosion cracking and occasionally SCC takes place in the support place crevice area. An oxide or crud formation can take place on the tubes near the supporting plates.

Cormet designed and built a flow-through cell for MIT for testing purposes. High-temperature high-pressure water flows through the testing cell. There is a heated tube simulating the nuclear fuel tube or a steam generator tube in the middle of the testing cell. Sapphire windows are used to monitor the boiling phenomena and oxide formation kinetics on the heated tube. Additionally, the testing tube can be electrochemically polarized. MIT has managed to study the oxide film formation phenomena. Professor Mike Short has developed and patented a method to prevent the oxide formation of the tubes.

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