A tube containment system. The tube containment system does not significantly reduce heat transfer through the tube wall. The contained tube is internally pressurized, and is formed from a ceramic material having high strength, high thermal conductivity, and good thermal shock resistance. The tube containment system includes at least one ceramic fiber braid material disposed about the internally pressurized tube. The material is disposed about the tube in a predetermined axial spacing arrangement. The ceramic fiber braid is present in an amount sufficient to contain the tube if the tube becomes fractured. The tube containment system can also include a plurality of ceramic ring-shaped structures, in contact with the outer surface of the tube, and positioned between the tube and the ceramic fiber braid material, and/or at least one transducer positioned within tube for reducing the internal volume and, therefore, the energy of any shrapnel resulting from a tube fracture.
This invention was made with government support under Contract Numbers DE-FC21-90MC26008 and DE-AC21-94MC31327 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. government has certain rights in the invention.