Significant stresses are induced in brazed metal-to-ceramic joints during cool-down. Analysis of such stresses is complicated by nonlinear material behavior and uncertainties in material properties at and near the braze temperatures. In this study, stresses induced during cool-down from the brazing temperature are analytically determined for a coaxial RF (radio frequency) window, which is an integral component of many traveling-wave tube (TWT) devices. The approach is to use nonlinear finite element analysis which takes into account plastic deformation of the metal components as well as the temperature dependence of material properties. Details of the modeling techniques, analytical assumptions and boundary conditions employed are discussed. In addition, metallographic analysis of the brazed test assemblies is described. Analytically predicted stress distributions showed reasonably good correlation with both the location and direction of cracks observed in the ceramic component of brazed sample test assemblies. The results of this investigation emphasize the need for accurate material properties for the braze alloys used in such joints, including temperature dependence, as well as an understanding of their nonlinear behavior, for the stress analysis model to be accurate. In addition, the important role of joint geometry in the minimization of cool-down stresses in brazed metal-ceramic assemblies is described.

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