Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Nuclear Engineering

Major Professor

Arthur E. Ruggles

Committee Members

J. Hayward, M. Grossbeck


A high temperature molten salt test loop that utilizes FLiNaK (LiF-NaF-KF) at 700ºC has been proposed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to study molten salt flow characteristics through a pebble bed for applications in high temperature thermal systems, in particular the Pebble Bed – Advanced High Temperature Reactor (PB-AHTR). The University of Tennessee Nuclear Engineering Department has been tasked with developing and testing pressure instrumentation for direct measurements inside the high temperature environment. A nickel diaphragm based direct contact pressure sensor is developed for use in the salt. Capacitive and interferometric methods are used to infer the displacement of the diaphragm. Two sets of performance data were collected at high temperatures. The fiber optic, Fabry-Perot interferometric sensor was tested in a molten salt bath. The capacitive pressure sensor was tested at high temperatures in a furnace under argon cover gas.

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