The design and construction of a high temperature tube burst test apparatus is described. The apparatus consists of an internally heated ceramic tube specimen, internal O-ring pressure seals, water-cooled end caps, steel end plates, and an explosion-resistant steel test chamber. The ceramic tube specimen floats freely on the internal O-ring seal, thus avoiding axial stresses due to end constraints and/or axial thermal expansion. The apparatus is capable of obtaining test temperatures up to 1400°C, pressures to 68.9 MPa (10 000 psi), and capturing tube fragments in a “witness shield” for fractographic analysis. The use of the apparatus is demonstrated by relating strengths measured for 660 mm (26 in.) long by 44 mm (1.75 in.) diameter SiC tubes to the strength distribution of O-ring and C-ring specimens tested at 1200°C using Weibull statistics to scale the specimen sizes. Advantages and disadvantages of the tube burst test apparatus are discussed.
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