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Title: U3Si2 and UO2 composites densified by spark plasma sintering for accident-tolerant fuels

Abstract

This work reports the synthesis and characterization of the U3Si2 and UO2 composites sintered by spark plasma sintering (SPS) with controlled microstructures for accident-tolerant fuel application. The U3Si2 and UO2 composites with different silicide and oxide ratios were synthesized by SPS at temperatures from 1000 to 1300 °C for 5 minutes. The microstructure and phase composition of the SPS densified composite fuels were characterized with scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and energy dispersed spectroscopy (EDS). A systematic study of the thermal and mechanical properties was conducted using microhardness testing and laser flash apparatus, along with oxidation resistance measurements using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The results show that the synthesis of composite fuels can be achieved with a 90% theoretical density (TD) at 1000 °C and over 95% TD when sintered at 1300 °C. XRD and EDS results confirmed that the dominant phases in the composites are U3Si2 and UO2. Improved physical density generally leads to improved hardness, fracture toughness, thermal diffusivity, and onset temperature during the oxidation process. U3Si2 was found to play a dominant role in determining the mechanical and oxidation properties of the composite fuels, whereas UO2 had a more important impact on controlling the thermal diffusivity ofmore » the composites. The composite with 50 wt% UO2 sintered at 1300 °C displayed the onset oxidation temperature of 500 °C by dynamic oxidation testing using TGA at a ramp degree of 10 °C/min. The composite also achieved a high fracture toughness of ~3.5 MPa m½. Finally, these results highlight the potential of composite fuel forms densified by SPS with simultaneously enhanced fissile element density, fracture toughness, thermal transport properties, and oxidation resistance.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2];  [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [1]
  1. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY (United States)
  2. Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, Cranberry Township, PA (United States)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1630511
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1615408
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; NE0008532
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 534; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS

Citation Formats

Gong, Bowen, Yao, Tiankai, Lei, Penghui, Lu, Cai, Metzger, Kathryn, Lahoda, Edward, Boylan, Frank, Mohamad, Afiqa, Harp, Jason, Nelson, Andrew, and Lian, Jie. U3Si2 and UO2 composites densified by spark plasma sintering for accident-tolerant fuels. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152147.
Gong, Bowen, Yao, Tiankai, Lei, Penghui, Lu, Cai, Metzger, Kathryn, Lahoda, Edward, Boylan, Frank, Mohamad, Afiqa, Harp, Jason, Nelson, Andrew, & Lian, Jie. U3Si2 and UO2 composites densified by spark plasma sintering for accident-tolerant fuels. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152147
Gong, Bowen, Yao, Tiankai, Lei, Penghui, Lu, Cai, Metzger, Kathryn, Lahoda, Edward, Boylan, Frank, Mohamad, Afiqa, Harp, Jason, Nelson, Andrew, and Lian, Jie. Thu . "U3Si2 and UO2 composites densified by spark plasma sintering for accident-tolerant fuels". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152147. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1630511.
@article{osti_1630511,
title = {U3Si2 and UO2 composites densified by spark plasma sintering for accident-tolerant fuels},
author = {Gong, Bowen and Yao, Tiankai and Lei, Penghui and Lu, Cai and Metzger, Kathryn and Lahoda, Edward and Boylan, Frank and Mohamad, Afiqa and Harp, Jason and Nelson, Andrew and Lian, Jie},
abstractNote = {This work reports the synthesis and characterization of the U3Si2 and UO2 composites sintered by spark plasma sintering (SPS) with controlled microstructures for accident-tolerant fuel application. The U3Si2 and UO2 composites with different silicide and oxide ratios were synthesized by SPS at temperatures from 1000 to 1300 °C for 5 minutes. The microstructure and phase composition of the SPS densified composite fuels were characterized with scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and energy dispersed spectroscopy (EDS). A systematic study of the thermal and mechanical properties was conducted using microhardness testing and laser flash apparatus, along with oxidation resistance measurements using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The results show that the synthesis of composite fuels can be achieved with a 90% theoretical density (TD) at 1000 °C and over 95% TD when sintered at 1300 °C. XRD and EDS results confirmed that the dominant phases in the composites are U3Si2 and UO2. Improved physical density generally leads to improved hardness, fracture toughness, thermal diffusivity, and onset temperature during the oxidation process. U3Si2 was found to play a dominant role in determining the mechanical and oxidation properties of the composite fuels, whereas UO2 had a more important impact on controlling the thermal diffusivity of the composites. The composite with 50 wt% UO2 sintered at 1300 °C displayed the onset oxidation temperature of 500 °C by dynamic oxidation testing using TGA at a ramp degree of 10 °C/min. The composite also achieved a high fracture toughness of ~3.5 MPa m½. Finally, these results highlight the potential of composite fuel forms densified by SPS with simultaneously enhanced fissile element density, fracture toughness, thermal transport properties, and oxidation resistance.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152147},
journal = {Journal of Nuclear Materials},
number = C,
volume = 534,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {4}
}

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