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Title: Method for fracturing silicon-carbide coatings on nuclear-fuel particles

This invention is a device for fracturing particles. It is designed especially for use in "hot cells" designed for the handling of radioactive materials. In a typical application, the device is used to fracture a hard silicon-carbide coating present on carbon-matrix microspheres containing nuclear-fuel material, such as uranium or thorium compounds. To promote remote control and facilitate maintenance, the particle breaker is pneumatically operated and contains no moving parts. It includes means for serially entraining the entrained particles on an anvil housed in a leak-tight chamber. The flow rate of the gas is at a value effecting fracture of the particles; preferably, it is at a value fracturing them into product particulates of fluidizable size. The chamber is provided with an outlet passage whose cross-sectional area decreases in the direction away from the chamber. The outlet is connected tangentially to a vertically oriented vortex-flow separator for recovering the product particulates entrained in the gas outflow from the chamber. The invention can be used on a batch or continuous basis to fracture the silicon-carbide coatings on virtually all of the particles fed thereto.
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. (Oak Ridge, TN)
  2. (Knoxville, TN)
  3. (Lenoir City, TN)
  4. (Kingston, TN)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) ORNL
Patent Number(s):
US 4323198
Contract Number:
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN
Country of Publication:
United States
method; fracturing; silicon-carbide; coatings; nuclear-fuel; particles; device; designed; especially; hot; cells; handling; radioactive; materials; typical; application; fracture; hard; coating; carbon-matrix; microspheres; containing; material; uranium; thorium; compounds; promote; remote; control; facilitate; maintenance; particle; breaker; pneumatically; operated; contains; moving; means; serially; entraining; entrained; anvil; housed; leak-tight; chamber; flow; rate; gas; value; effecting; preferably; product; particulates; fluidizable; size; provided; outlet; passage; cross-sectional; decreases; direction; connected; tangentially; vertically; oriented; vortex-flow; separator; recovering; outflow; batch; continuous; basis; virtually; fed; thereto; remote control; radioactive material; fuel material; vertically oriented; active material; flow rate; radioactive materials; typical application; fuel particles; hot cell; active materials; pneumatically operated; particulates entrained; continuous basis; fuel particle; outlet passage; microspheres containing; entrained particles; hot cells; tight chamber; designed especially; containing nuclear; /241/976/