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Title: Simulated Microstructural and Compositional Evolution of U-Pu-Zr Alloys Using the Potts-Phase Field Modeling Technique

Abstract

U-Pu-Zr alloys are considered ideal metallic fuels for Experimental Breeder Reactors because of their superior material properties and potential for increased burnup performance. However, significant constituent redistribution has been observed in these alloys when irradiated, or subject to a thermal gradient, resulting in inhomogeneity of both composition and phase, which, in turn, alters the fuel performance. The hybrid Potts-phase field method is reformulated for ternary alloys in a thermal gradient and utilized to simulate and predict constituent redistribution and phase transformations in the U-Pu-Zr nuclear fuel system. Simulated evolution profiles for the U-16Pu-23Zr (at%) alloy show concentric zones that are compared with published experimental results; discrepancies in zone size are attributed to thermal profile differences and assumptions related to the diffusivity values used. Twenty-one alloys, over the entire ternary compositional spectrum, are also simulated to investigate the effects of alloy composition on constituent redistribution and phase transformations. The U-40Pu-20Zr (at%) alloy shows the most potential for compositional uniformity and phase homogeneity, throughout a thermal gradient, while remaining in the compositional range of feasible alloys.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Naka-gun (Japan)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1485449
Report Number(s):
SAND2018-11922J
Journal ID: ISSN 1073-5623; 668732
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Metallurgical and Materials Transactions. A, Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 49; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1073-5623
Publisher:
ASM International
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Cox, Jordan J., Homer, Eric R., Tikare, Veena, and Kurata, Masaki. Simulated Microstructural and Compositional Evolution of U-Pu-Zr Alloys Using the Potts-Phase Field Modeling Technique. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1007/s11661-018-4922-7.
Cox, Jordan J., Homer, Eric R., Tikare, Veena, & Kurata, Masaki. Simulated Microstructural and Compositional Evolution of U-Pu-Zr Alloys Using the Potts-Phase Field Modeling Technique. United States. doi:10.1007/s11661-018-4922-7.
Cox, Jordan J., Homer, Eric R., Tikare, Veena, and Kurata, Masaki. Fri . "Simulated Microstructural and Compositional Evolution of U-Pu-Zr Alloys Using the Potts-Phase Field Modeling Technique". United States. doi:10.1007/s11661-018-4922-7. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1485449.
@article{osti_1485449,
title = {Simulated Microstructural and Compositional Evolution of U-Pu-Zr Alloys Using the Potts-Phase Field Modeling Technique},
author = {Cox, Jordan J. and Homer, Eric R. and Tikare, Veena and Kurata, Masaki},
abstractNote = {U-Pu-Zr alloys are considered ideal metallic fuels for Experimental Breeder Reactors because of their superior material properties and potential for increased burnup performance. However, significant constituent redistribution has been observed in these alloys when irradiated, or subject to a thermal gradient, resulting in inhomogeneity of both composition and phase, which, in turn, alters the fuel performance. The hybrid Potts-phase field method is reformulated for ternary alloys in a thermal gradient and utilized to simulate and predict constituent redistribution and phase transformations in the U-Pu-Zr nuclear fuel system. Simulated evolution profiles for the U-16Pu-23Zr (at%) alloy show concentric zones that are compared with published experimental results; discrepancies in zone size are attributed to thermal profile differences and assumptions related to the diffusivity values used. Twenty-one alloys, over the entire ternary compositional spectrum, are also simulated to investigate the effects of alloy composition on constituent redistribution and phase transformations. The U-40Pu-20Zr (at%) alloy shows the most potential for compositional uniformity and phase homogeneity, throughout a thermal gradient, while remaining in the compositional range of feasible alloys.},
doi = {10.1007/s11661-018-4922-7},
journal = {Metallurgical and Materials Transactions. A, Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science},
number = 12,
volume = 49,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

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