The reaction of sintered aluminium products with uranium dioxide and monocarbide

T. Lauritzen, Per Knudsen

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    Abstract

    The compatibility of SAP 930 with uranium dioxide and uranium monocarbide was investigated in the temperature range 450–600° C. The results indicate that a severe reaction occurs between SAP 930 and UO2 within 8000 hours at 600° C, a slight reaction at 600° C for 1000 hours and after 11 900 hours at 525° C, and no reaction in 14 300 hours at 450° C. Of the three grades of UC tested (hot pressed, arc cast, cold pressed and sintered) the slightly substoichiometric, hot-pressed UC is judged to be least compatible with SAP 930, reaction occurring after 7300 hours at 450° C. No reaction was observed between SAP 930 and the other carbides at this temperature. All SAP−UC combinations are incompatible at 600° C for as little as 100 hours of heat treatment. Tests designed to study the effect of a diffusion barrier on the SAP−UC reaction have shown that anodized SAP 930 and the three uranium carbides are fully compatible at 450 and 525° C for at least 14 300 hours. Mechanical breakdown of the barrier within 8000 hours, however, limits the application of anodized SAP 930 at 600° C. X-ray diffraction analyses of the reaction products formed in each material combination tested show that the primary constituent is the intermetallic compound UAl3. A second phase, visible at the SAP/reaction-product interface, has been identified as UAl4 on the basis of its observed anisotropy and its position in the reaction zone.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
    Volume16
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)173-183
    ISSN0022-3115
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1965

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