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The MAterials Degradation under COrrosion and Radiation, MADCOR, Laboratory is part of the Engineering Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The laboratory is run by the MADCOR research group and managed be Prof. Adrien Couet.

 

The MADCOR research group started in December 2015 and focuses on the study of complex degradation phenomena of materials subjected to corrosion and/or irradiation in extreme environments (current and advanced nuclear reactors, beam accelerators, thermal engines for aerospace applications, etc…).

For instance, the various materials currently used in primary water nuclear reactors such as the uranium dioxyde fuel pellets, the zirconium alloy fuel cladding, the stainless steel internals and nickel based alloy steam generator tubes are all subjected to harsh environmental conditions (temperature, pressure, irradiation, etc.). These materials are indeed exposed to multiple degradation processes involving corrosion and irradiation, which are most of the time coupled. The coupling results in the emergence of accelerated degradation phenomena significantly limiting the nuclear materials lifetime. These environments are planned to be even more severe and aggressive in advanced nuclear reactors designs such as molten salt reactors or liquid metal fast reactors.

Thus, it is critical for the industry to understand these coupling mechanisms in order to better predict the lifetime expectancy of current alloys and design new alloys resistant to these extreme conditions. However, these degradation processes are often complex and involve multiple length  and time scales, which make them particularly difficult to model and study experimentally. It is thus essential to develop efficient modeling tools and innovative experiments allowing to characterize and validate degradation mechanisms.

The MADCOR vision is to

It is in this context that the MADCOR laboratory focuses on:

For instance the MADCOR laboratory focuses on:

 

  • Innovative high-throughput approaches based on in-situ alloying using additive manufacturing and high-temperature electrochemistry coupled with data analytics and machine learning aided models are used to develop new alloys resistant to molten salt corrosion for molten salt reactors, concentrated solar power and thermal storage applications.
  • Ion beam and in-situ photon irradiation coupled to state-of-the-art microscopy and microchemistry are being used to study the high temperature corrosion and irradiation mechanisms of nuclear fuel cladding and structural materials for advanced nuclear reactors

 

The group is always recruiting to every levels, from high school students to research scientist so do not hesitate to contact Prof. Adrien Couet or other group members!

Come to Wisconsin and join the MADCOR group!

Right: Madison bay; Left: MADCOR group photo Nov.2019