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Title: Process Development and Optimization of a Direct Cast U-6Nb 250 mm Hemispherical Component

Abstract

Direct Casting is the process of casting a near-net shape part of U-6wt%Nb in a multi-zone VIM furnace for subsequent heat treatment and machining in to a final component. This report describes work to further develop a sound technical basis and best practices for mold design and process parameters for the Direct Casting of U-6Nb components with a hemispherical geometry. Specifically, process parameters and mold design are examined in detail for producing a 250 mm diameter hemisphere component. The goal is to efficiently produce a sound casting with a minimum of microporosity and uniform niobium composition. Prior work had tried unsuccessfully to cast this shape in a large single-coil vacuum induction melting (VIM) furnace. These castings had unacceptable levels microporosity and niobium segregation. In this work, this same part was cast in a multi-zone VIM and a sound casting was obtained. Beyond simply casting a sound part, this work aimed to optimize the hot-top design, metal pouring temperature, and mold pole temperature. Sound castings where produced using both a tapered and step hot-top designs. There were slightly lower porosity levels and about 5% better metal usage with the step hot-top so that design slightly better. With the current mold design,more » which uses a funnel and filter arrangement, there a large amount of superheat loss in the funnel/filter during mold filling. This temperature loss, and the apparent variability in the filling behavior, lead to casting defects in the pole region of several of the castings. The variability and defects were overcome by moving to a higher mold pole temperature (850°C) and a higher metal pour temperature (1500°C). For future work it is believed that a no-funnel design, with the filter integral to the crucible, will be a better and more robust strategy.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Programs (DP) (NA-10)
OSTI Identifier:
1475315
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-29233
DOE Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING

Citation Formats

Aikin, Jr., Robert M. Process Development and Optimization of a Direct Cast U-6Nb 250 mm Hemispherical Component. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1475315.
Aikin, Jr., Robert M. Process Development and Optimization of a Direct Cast U-6Nb 250 mm Hemispherical Component. United States. doi:10.2172/1475315.
Aikin, Jr., Robert M. Fri . "Process Development and Optimization of a Direct Cast U-6Nb 250 mm Hemispherical Component". United States. doi:10.2172/1475315. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1475315.
@article{osti_1475315,
title = {Process Development and Optimization of a Direct Cast U-6Nb 250 mm Hemispherical Component},
author = {Aikin, Jr., Robert M.},
abstractNote = {Direct Casting is the process of casting a near-net shape part of U-6wt%Nb in a multi-zone VIM furnace for subsequent heat treatment and machining in to a final component. This report describes work to further develop a sound technical basis and best practices for mold design and process parameters for the Direct Casting of U-6Nb components with a hemispherical geometry. Specifically, process parameters and mold design are examined in detail for producing a 250 mm diameter hemisphere component. The goal is to efficiently produce a sound casting with a minimum of microporosity and uniform niobium composition. Prior work had tried unsuccessfully to cast this shape in a large single-coil vacuum induction melting (VIM) furnace. These castings had unacceptable levels microporosity and niobium segregation. In this work, this same part was cast in a multi-zone VIM and a sound casting was obtained. Beyond simply casting a sound part, this work aimed to optimize the hot-top design, metal pouring temperature, and mold pole temperature. Sound castings where produced using both a tapered and step hot-top designs. There were slightly lower porosity levels and about 5% better metal usage with the step hot-top so that design slightly better. With the current mold design, which uses a funnel and filter arrangement, there a large amount of superheat loss in the funnel/filter during mold filling. This temperature loss, and the apparent variability in the filling behavior, lead to casting defects in the pole region of several of the castings. The variability and defects were overcome by moving to a higher mold pole temperature (850°C) and a higher metal pour temperature (1500°C). For future work it is believed that a no-funnel design, with the filter integral to the crucible, will be a better and more robust strategy.},
doi = {10.2172/1475315},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

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