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Usability and failure mechanisms of materials


Managing the usability and ageing of structures and components throughout a power or process plant’s service life requires identification and evaluation of the degradation mechanisms of structural materials in actual service environments. VTT’s competence in this area includes::

  • Comprehensive understanding of the relationships between material microstructure, external loading and environmental factors leading to corrosion and degradation phenomena.
  • Innovative techniques for experimental investigations and modelling of material damage and failure mechanisms under controlled conditions of temperature, pressure and radiation in gaseous and liquid environments (actual or simulated).
  • Experimental and modelling capabilities regarding fracture mechanics of single and multi component materials and interfaces, including the “Master Curve” approach.


Safe and reliable use and life extension of power and process plants by:

  • identifying and verifying failure mechanisms under aggressive conditions.
  • contributing to proactive degradation assessments for plant lifetime management, plant life extensions and power upgrades.
  • supporting licensing of nuclear components, such as reactor pressure vessels.


  • Participation in national and international programmes and networks: SAFIR2010, KYT2010, EU-PERFORM60, EU-MTR-I3, EU-ANTIOXI, OECD Halden reactor project, IAEA FUWAC.
  • Handling and mechanical testing of activated materials in Hot-Cells.
  • Development of mechanical, corrosion and electrochemical research devices for challenging conditions.
  • Modelling of degradation phenomena (creep, fracture) and interaction between material and environment (oxidation, activity build-up, localised corrosion).


  • Assure safe and economic operation of power and process plants
  • Contribute to plant life extension and power upgrade assessments
  • Collate knowledge and experience through participation in national and international programmes and networks.

References and merits

Additional information

Pentti Kauppinen
Technology Manager
+358 20 722 6481

Ulla Ehrnstén
Senior Research Scientist
+358 20 722 6860