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Title: Thermally-Conductive and Mechanically-Robust Graphene Nanoplatelet Reinforced UO 2 Composite Nuclear Fuels

Abstract

Low thermal transport behavior along the radial direction of nuclear fuel pellets and pellet-cladding mechanical interaction significantly impact fuel performance and the safety of current nuclear energy systems. Here we report a new strategy of advanced fuel design in which highly thermally-conductive and mechanically-robust graphene nanoplatelets are incorporated into UO 2 fuel matrix to improve fuel thermal-mechanical properties. The 2D geometry of the graphene nanoplatelets enables a unique lamellar structure upon fuel consolidation by spark plasma sintering. The thermal conductivity along the radial direction of the sintered fuel pellets at room temperature reaches 12.7 and 19.1 wm –1K –1 at 1 wt.% and 5 wt.% loadings of the graphene nanoplatelets, respectively, representing at least 74% and 162% enhancements as compared to pure UO 2 fuel pellets. Indentation testing suggests great capability of the 2D graphene nanoplatelets to deflect and pin crack propagation, drastically improving the crack propagation resistance of fuel matrix. Here, the estimated indentation fracture toughness reaches 3.5 MPa·m 1/2 by 1 wt.% loading of graphene nano-platelets, representing a 150% improvement over 1.4 MPa·m 1/2 for pure UO 2 fuel pellets. Isothermal annealing of the composite fuel indicates that the graphene nano-platelet is able to retain its structure andmore » properties against reaction with UO 2 matrix up to 1150 °C.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1500087
Grant/Contract Number:  
NE0008440
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS

Citation Formats

Yao, Tiankai, Xin, Guoqing, Scott, Spencer Michael, Gong, Bowen, and Lian, Jie. Thermally-Conductive and Mechanically-Robust Graphene Nanoplatelet Reinforced UO2 Composite Nuclear Fuels. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-21034-4.
Yao, Tiankai, Xin, Guoqing, Scott, Spencer Michael, Gong, Bowen, & Lian, Jie. Thermally-Conductive and Mechanically-Robust Graphene Nanoplatelet Reinforced UO2 Composite Nuclear Fuels. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-21034-4.
Yao, Tiankai, Xin, Guoqing, Scott, Spencer Michael, Gong, Bowen, and Lian, Jie. Wed . "Thermally-Conductive and Mechanically-Robust Graphene Nanoplatelet Reinforced UO2 Composite Nuclear Fuels". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-21034-4. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1500087.
@article{osti_1500087,
title = {Thermally-Conductive and Mechanically-Robust Graphene Nanoplatelet Reinforced UO2 Composite Nuclear Fuels},
author = {Yao, Tiankai and Xin, Guoqing and Scott, Spencer Michael and Gong, Bowen and Lian, Jie},
abstractNote = {Low thermal transport behavior along the radial direction of nuclear fuel pellets and pellet-cladding mechanical interaction significantly impact fuel performance and the safety of current nuclear energy systems. Here we report a new strategy of advanced fuel design in which highly thermally-conductive and mechanically-robust graphene nanoplatelets are incorporated into UO2 fuel matrix to improve fuel thermal-mechanical properties. The 2D geometry of the graphene nanoplatelets enables a unique lamellar structure upon fuel consolidation by spark plasma sintering. The thermal conductivity along the radial direction of the sintered fuel pellets at room temperature reaches 12.7 and 19.1 wm–1K–1 at 1 wt.% and 5 wt.% loadings of the graphene nanoplatelets, respectively, representing at least 74% and 162% enhancements as compared to pure UO2 fuel pellets. Indentation testing suggests great capability of the 2D graphene nanoplatelets to deflect and pin crack propagation, drastically improving the crack propagation resistance of fuel matrix. Here, the estimated indentation fracture toughness reaches 3.5 MPa·m1/2 by 1 wt.% loading of graphene nano-platelets, representing a 150% improvement over 1.4 MPa·m1/2 for pure UO2 fuel pellets. Isothermal annealing of the composite fuel indicates that the graphene nano-platelet is able to retain its structure and properties against reaction with UO2 matrix up to 1150 °C.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-018-21034-4},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
issn = {2045-2322},
number = 1,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Graphene-based composite materials
journal, July 2006

  • Stankovich, Sasha; Dikin, Dmitriy A.; Dommett, Geoffrey H. B.
  • Nature, Vol. 442, Issue 7100, p. 282-286
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature04969

Raman Spectrum of Graphene and Graphene Layers
journal, October 2006