El-Peacetolero is the short title for ”Embedded Electronic solutions for Polymer Innovative Scanning Tools using Light Emitting devices for diagnostic Routines”.
European-wide nuclear generation facilities are constantly monitored and maintained in order to ensure performance and safety. Among the aspects to be checked for NPPs safety and long-term operation (LTO), the polymer ageing is crucial as polymers are widely used as protective, sealing or isolating coatings in a lot of equipment (such as electrical cables or pipes). Up to now, existing testing methods fall into two categories. Firstly, sampling of extracts from real equipment (for example coring) and subsequently expert analysis of the material in a laboratory. This method meets the criteria of reliability; however, it is invasive, expensive and time-consuming. Secondly, nondestructive exams such as indentation can be used. In this case, the criteria are based on material-dependent and poorly understood correlations between the measured property and the end-of-life criteria. In addition, these correlations require the previous establishment of an abaque. Early detection of abnormal behaviour and embrittlement are therefore impossible with these approaches. Thus, a system performing on site nondestructive identification and diagnosis of the ageing state of polymers is urgently needed to support modernisation, optimisation and efficient implementation of the new safety requirements of the European nuclear industry supply chain.
The overall goal of the project El-Peacetolero is the development of a hand-held, low power, embedded optoelectronic system that can be used for in-situ real-time measurement, identification and diagnosis of the material state of ageing polymers in an industrial environment. In order to achieve this goal El-Peacetolero brings together experts in material science, data science and optoelectronics.
Fraunhofer IZFP research activities within the project are focused on the development of a multi-dimensional feature based artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm for the detection of degradation of aged industrial polymers (i.e. neoprene in a first step) by use of the IR measuring device that partners will develop. In order to create a representative dataset for the development of a suitable model, the acquired data will be extended by AI based augmentation and simulation techniques. This data will then be used to train and validate a model that can be used to detect degradation of aged industrial polymers. Modelling of the degradation will allow for the extension of the approach for other polymers. As last step, the model will be embedded in the hardware of the El-Peacetolero device.
The El-Peacetolero consortium gathers important European and non-European institutions in the field of nuclear energy:
- Sorbonne Université (FR)
- Électricité de France EDF (FR)
- Universitat Jaume I (ES)
- Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (FR)
- Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (DE)
- Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP (DE)
- mirSense (FR)
- Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RU)
- ARTTIC (FR)