Damage development in neutron-irradiated concrete in a test reactor: Hygro-thermal and mechanical simulations

Naman Saklani, Gaurav Banwat, Benjamin Spencer, Subramaniam Rajan, Gaurav Sant, Narayanan Neithalath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper reports the development of a 3D mesoscale hygro-thermal-mechanical simulation approach to predict damage in concrete irradiated in a test reactor. This framework, developed in MOOSE, considers the effects of elevated temperature, moisture content, and high neutron fluence (energy threshold, E > 0.1 MeV) on the mortar and aggregates separately. The first-stage simulation implements hygro-thermal analysis to determine the temperature and RH inside the specimen as a function of imposed radiation energy. These are used as inputs to the second stage, which considers radiation-induced volumetric expansion (RIVE) of aggregates, and creep, shrinkage, and stress-strain response of mortar to predict the expansion, stresses, and damage in specimens made using different coarse aggregates and subjected to different irradiation times. The irradiation time-dependent damage in the mortar is expressed using an isotropic damage parameter. This multi-physics model serves as a predictive tool for damage quantification in concrete due to neutron irradiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106349
JournalCement and Concrete Research
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Damage
  • Elastic modulus
  • Finite element simulation
  • Neutron irradiation
  • Radiation induced volumetric expansion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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