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The AMALIA laboratory provides tools to study the effect of environment on the mechanical and corrosion performance including life assessment and qualification of structural materials for present and next generation of nuclear systems. It includes test machines and auxiliary equipment for corrosion and environmentally assisted cracking testing for various types of test specimen. In support, 3D profilometry, x-ray tomography, Scanning Electron Microscopy(SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), microstructural analysis and data management tools can be offered. It is possible to make an Open Access Proposal using more than one EMMA laboratory.
AMALIA is situated at the Joint Research Centre in Petten (the Netherlands), consists of 5 water loops for providing and analysing water for AMALIA autoclave test facilities. The water loops include:
- State of the art water chemistry sensors such as Conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen and hydrogen sensors.
- Low and high pressure pump including the back pressure regulators and pulsation dampeners to provide water circulation and needed water pressure for test facilities.
The AMALIA water loops are connected to six autoclave testing systems:
- Autoclave 1 (max. temp. 360°C, max. pressure 200 bar) includes pneumatic bellows based loading device to conduct mechanical tests in environment such as: Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) Crack Growth Rate (CGR), Corrosion Fatigue (CF), Three Point Bend (3PB) or 0.5RC(T) Fracture Toughness Tests
- Autoclave 2 (max. temp. 360°C, max. pressure 200 bar) is primarily used for conducting electrochemistry based in-situ measurements of corrosion rate in particular for cladding materials: Zr-alloys or Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF). Alternatively, the same loading devices as in 1) can be installed.
- Autoclave 3 (max. temp. 650°C, max. pressure 350 bar) is primarily used for conducting electrochemistry based in-situ measurements of corrosion rate in particular for cladding materials: Zr-alloys or Accident Tolerant Fuel (ATF). Moreover, corrosion and mechanical tests up to 650°C 25 MPa SCW can be performed. Alternatively, the similar loading devices as in 1) can be installed.
- Autoclave 4 (max. temp. 650°C, max. pressure 350 bar) includes electromechanical loading device to conduct mechanical tests in water environment such as: Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) Crack Growth Rate (CGR), Corrosion Fatigue (CF), Three Point Bend (3PB) or 0.5RC(T) Fracture Toughness Tests. Corrosion and mechanical tests up to 650°C 25 MPa SCW can be performed. Alternatively, Contact Electrical Resistance device for in-situ corrosion measurement up to 650°C 25 MPa SCW can be installed.
- Autoclave 5 (max. temp. 650°C, max. pressure 350 bar) includes pneumatic bellows based loading device to conduct mechanical tests in water environment such as: Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) Crack Growth Rate (CGR), Corrosion Fatigue (CF), Three Point Bend (3PB) or 0.5RC(T) Fracture Toughness Tests. Corrosion and mechanical tests up to 650°C 25 MPa SCW can be performed.
- Autoclave 6 (max. temp. 360°C, max. pressure 200 bar) includes three pneumatic loading devices to conduct mechanical tests in water environment such as: Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) Crack Growth Rate (CGR), Corrosion Fatigue (CF), Three Point Bend (3PB) or 0.5RC(T) Fracture Toughness Tests.
Priority topics of AMALIA
- Safety and reliability of nuclear components for current and future nuclear systems
- Support to the development and adaptation of European Codes and Standards
- Development of advanced test methods for material characterization
- Characterisation of mechanical properties of candidate and new corrosion-resistant high-temperature materials, incl. surface modifications and welded joints
- Prediction of design life of new materials, remaining life of service-exposed materials including welded joints subjected to operational conditions by mechanical tests, modelling and microstructural analysis.
- Characterization of tensile and creep properties using standard and sub-size specimen and small punch tests
- Characterization of ageing effects for key material properties.
Definition and conditions of access
Access to the research infrastructure is granted on the basis of Access Units. For AMALIA, the Access Unit is an 'AU' and corresponds to 1 week of continuous operation.
The typical duration of a test programme is 5-20AUs. The latter is representative for performing a SCC initiation tests in high-temperature and pressure water with controlled oxygen or hydrogen content. Up to three SCC initiation tests can be performed simultaneously in Autoclave 4. Otherwise only one test per autoclave is usually under way. Moreover, corrosion tests (without any load) can be conducted as well with AUs extending to 30 AUs.
- Estimated total number of Access Unit allocated to the call: 30 AU
- Average number of Access Unit per Project: 15 AU (corresponding to mechanical and corrosion tests in six Autoclaves)
- Estimated maximum duration of the User Access Project: 24 months
- Estimated additional costs excluding consumables and other expenses:
- Research infrastructure operated by JRC staff: 0€ / Day
- Research infrastructure operated by users: Yes
It is expected that the User Institutions provide the test specimens.
Support of users for travel and subsistence
The JRC may provide a financial or in-kind contribution to support Users to cover their costs of travel and subsistence (T&S) related to the User Stay Days, subject to the availability of funds, personnel and other resources to Users from User Institutions located in an EU Member State or country associated to the Euratom Research Programme (only Ukraine).
A User Stay Day is a day of physical presence of a User at the concerned Research Infrastructure for Access related to the User Access Project. A User Stay Day counts as a registered entry to the JRC site where the Research Infrastructure is located.
- Estimated total number of User Stay Days for short- term stays eligible for T&S allocated to the call: 40
- Estimated total number for long- term stays (months) eligible for T&S allocated to the call: 16
A short-term stay corresponds to a stay of up to 20 User Stay Days.
A long-term stays corresponds to a stay exceeding 20 User Stay Days, up to a maximum of 200 User Stay Days.
For more information on the support offered to users, please consult the Rules on the contribution to travel and subsistence expenses of external users.
Long term stays are primarily for students and have a duration of at least 1 month. They are typically 3 to 9 months for Karlsruhe, and 1 to 6 months for Petten and Geel.
The Lead User is welcomed to fill in the User travel and subsistence form and send it to JRC-OPEN-AMALIA@ec.europa.eu by the closing date of the call. For more information the Lead User may contact the JRC Research Infrastructure at JRC-OPEN-AMALIA@ec.europa.eu
Allocation of intellectual property rights
- The JRC and the entitled party (person or organisation that has been granted access) become co-owners in equal shares of all raw data, treated data and documentation data developed with respect to the access.
or, if requested by the user or when users run the research infrastructure
- Raw data, treated data and documentation data will be solely owned by the entitled party. The JRC receives a non-exclusive, royalty free, unlimited and world-wide license to use (meaning in particular to access, exploit, adapt, merge, translate, copy and store) the raw data, processed data and documentation data in all fields of exploitation. Where relevant, the license will include all the data / information necessary to replicate the tests.
- The Lead User Institution and User Institutions (see definitions in the Framework) must be from an EU Member State, or country associated to the Euratom research programme.
- The scope of the work for nuclear RIs must be in line with the activities defined in Annex I of Council Regulation (Euratom) 2021/765.
- The Lead User Institution must be from a university, research or public institution, or from a Small-Medium-Enterprise (SME).
- User Institutions from international organisations, under the condition that the Lead User Institution and at least 2/3 of all the User Institutions (including the Lead User Institution) are located in a Member State or a country associated to Horizon Europe or to the Euratom research programme. In case of one or two User Institutions (including the Lead User Institutions), this requirement is only applied to the Lead User Institution.
- Ethical considerations in accordance with EU Law, in particular Art. 19 of Regulation (EU) 2021/695, and applicable laws and regulations in the EU Member States.
- The proposal submission form is complete and complies with the instructions.
Proposals will be evaluated in accordance to the following selection criteria:
- Scientific implementation (50 points)
- Collaboration and access to new Users (20 points)
- Strategic relevance (30 points)
The proposal must be prepared using the Relevance-driven Proposal Submission Form.
During preparation of the proposal, applicants are encouraged to:
- Read the "Framework for Access to the physical Research Infrastructures of the JRC" and its annexes.
- Contact the research infrastructure at JRC-OPEN-AMALIA@ec.europa.eu to specify the level of experience of the User(s) to perform related tests and to assess feasibility aspects related to the capacity of the research infrastructure concerning:
- Test parameters,
- Specimen geometry.
Proposal should be submitted to JRC-RI-OPEN-ACCESS@ec.europa.eu by the closing date of the call. The deadline has been extended until 1 March 2023.
The User Selection Committee will only evaluate proposals that are complete and comply with the instructions in the proposal submission form.