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The SMPA laboratories are used for the mechanical performance characterisation, life assessment and qualification of structural materials for present and next generation nuclear systems. They include test machines and auxiliary equipment for performing creep, tensile and fracture tests for different test specimens including uniaxial tensile/creep, small punch and compact test specimens. Supporting 3D profilometry, microstructural analysis and data management tools may be offered.
The SMPA laboratories include the following test machines:
- Universal Tensile test Machines for tensile, fatigue, fracture, and creep fatigue, SSRT, Creep-fatigue Crack Growth:
- Large force servo-hydraulic test machine:
- Up to 250kN.
- Furnace heating up to 1200°C.
- Medium force servo-electric test machine:
- Up to 100kN.
- Induction heating.
- Low force electro-pulse test machine:
- Up to 3kN.
- Environmental chamber from -150 to +600°C.
- Adapted for Small Punch Tensile test.
- Large force servo-hydraulic test machine:
- Charpy Hammer:
- 300J and 50J, both instrumented.
- From -150 to 300°C.
- Creep test machines:
- 12 uniaxial creep test rigs 20kN, oven heated 900°C
- 2 small punch creep test machines induction heating up to 900°C.
- Post-testing examination equipment available:
- 3D profilometry.
- SEM (EDX, WDX).
- Optical microscope.
- Vicker's micro hardness (0.1kg – 20kg).
Priority topics of SMPA
- Safety and reliability of nuclear components
- Support to the development and adaptation of European Codes and Standards
- Development of test procedures and instrumentation with available test equipment to achieve simpler, more reliable or non-standard tailored data and estimates for of material properties
- Prediction of design life of new materials and remaining life of service-exposed materials including welded joints. The data will be in support of model development and validation
- Characterization of tensile and creep and creep-fatigue properties of new and service-exposed materials using standard and miniaturized specimen tests
Definition and conditions of access
Access to the research infrastructure is granted on the basis of Access Units. For SMPA, the Access Unit corresponds to an 'AU' and its definition depends on the type of equipment made available to users.
- Two uniaxial creep machines (20 kN) are available. Duration of creep tests can range from a few days to years. The AU is "100 hours", which includes preparation and continuous operation of each machine. Depending on the test programme, the machines can typically run between 1000 and 8000 hours.
- Two small punch creep test machines are available. The small punch creep test has a shorter duration that standard uniaxial creep tests. The AU are "100 hours", which includes preparation and continuous operation of each machine. Depending on the test programme, the machines can typically run between 24 and 700 hours.
- One low force testing machine (3kN), operated during working hours. Test durations typically minutes to hours. With preparation minimum one day allocated. The AU is "1 day" of operation during working hours.
- Charpy hammer (300 or 50J), operated during working hours. Test durations typically 1 hour; with preparation minimum one day allocated. The AU is "1 day" of operation during working hours.
The user is expected to be experienced in the tests types to be performed and is also expected to be able to independently prepare and conduct tests after short training provided on-site.
- Estimated total number of Access Unit allocated to the call:
- Creep machines (20 kN): 80 AU (8,000 hours)
- Small punch creep machines : 30 AU (3,000 hours)
- One miniature testing machine (3kN): 30 AU (30 days)
- Charpy Hammers (300 or 50J): 10 AU (10 days)
- Average number of Access Unit per Project:
- Creep Machines (20 kN): 40 AU (4,000 hours)
- Small punch creep machines: 15 AU (1,500 hours)
- Miniature testing machine (3 kN): 15 AU (15 days)
- Charpy Hammers (300 or 50J): 5 AU (5 days)
- Estimated costs excluding consumables and expenses:
- Research infrastructure operated by JRC staff: 0€ / Day
- Research infrastructure operated by users: Yes
The users may also take advantage of JRC High Performance Cluster and finite element codes as well as microstructural analysis to prepare tests plans and post analysis.
Access to SMPA test machines for which AUs are not defined, may exceptionally be included. It is expected that the Users’ 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 Users’ Institutions located in an EU Member State or country associated to the Euratom Research Programme (only United Kingdom and 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
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-SMPA@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-SMPA@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 established in an EU Member State or country associated to the Euratom Research Programme EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon Europe.*
- The Lead User Institution must be from a university, research or public institution, or from a Small-Medium-Enterprise (SME).
- Ethical considerations in accordance with EU Law, in particular Art. 18 of Regulation (EU) 2021/695, and applicable laws and regulations in the EU Member States.
*At the time of publishing this call, association negotiations are being processed or association is imminent with the following countries (listed in the alphabetical order): Ukraine and United Kingdom.
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 to the JRC (15 points)
- Strategic importance for Europe (15 points)
How to apply
The proposal must be prepared using the Relevance-driven Proposal Submission Form.
During preparation of the proposal, applicants are encouraged to:
- Read the "Framework of Access to Joint Research Centre physical Research Infrastructures" and all related documents in the Framework for Access page.
- Contact the research infrastructure at JRC-OPEN-SMPA@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.
Proposals should be submitted to JRC-RI-OPEN-ACCESS@ec.europa.eu by the closing date of the call.
The User Selection Committee will only evaluate proposals that are complete and comply with the instructions in the proposal submission form.
Communication of the assessment of proposals:2022-04-01 00:00:00