The AMALIA laboratory carries out research in the area of ageing of materials under the effect of environmentally assisted stress corrosion cracking. The facility consists of two high temperature and high pressure recirculating water loops for simulating general corrosion and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) conditions in various aqueous environments of relevance to Boiling Water Reactors, Pressurized Water Reactors, as well as to the environmental conditions of next generation Supercritical Water Reactors, also called High-Performance Light Water Reactors (HPLWR).
The facility is used for mechanical performance and coolant compatibility assessment, and qualification of candidate materials for the European HPLWR concept with respect to corrosion and SCC resistance under severe temperature and pressure conditions with full control of the water chemistry. To this end four autoclave systems with Tmax = 650ºC, pmax = 360 bar are operated, which allow environmental mechanical testing (fracture mechanics and slow strain rate tensile tests). SCC is monitored by Direct Current Potential Drop and other methods like Acoustic Emission, Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy and Electrochemical Noise measurements. To widen the range of test capabilities, an advanced SCC testing device based on a pneumatic servo-controlled loading system in high temperature and pressure water environment has recently been installed. In addition, the facility allows monitoring corrosion kinetics by means of contact electric impedance and resistivity measurements.