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Title: Nanocrystalline SiC and Ti 3SiC 2 Alloys for Reactor Materials: Annual Report

A new dual-phase nanocomposite of Ti₃SiC₂/SiC is being synthesized using preceramic polymers, ceramic powders, and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) designed to be suitable for advanced nuclear reactors and perhaps as fuel cladding. The material is being designed to have superior fracture toughness compared to SiC, adequate thermal conductivity, and higher density than SiC/SiC composites. This annual report summarizes the progress towards this goal and reports progress in understanding certain aspects of the material behavior but some shortcomings in achieving full density or in achieving adequate incorporation of CNTs. The measured thermal conductivity is adequate and falls into an expected range based on SiC and Ti₃SiC₂. Part of this study makes an initial assessment for Ti₃SiC₂ as a barrier to fission product transport. Ion implantation was used to introduce fission product surrogates (Ag and Cs) and a noble metal (Au) in Ti₃SiC₂, SiC, and a synthesized at PNNL. The experimental results indicate that the implanted Ag in SiC is immobile up to the highest temperature (1273 K) applied in this study; in contrast, significant out-diffusion of both Ag and Au in MAX phase Ti₃SiC₂ occurs during ion implantation at 873 K. Cs in Ti₃SiC₂ is found to diffuse during post-irradiation annealing atmore » 973 K, and noticeable Cs release from the sample is observed. This study may suggest caution in using Ti₃SiC₂ as a fuel cladding material for advanced nuclear reactors operating at very high temperatures. Progress is reported in thermal conductivity modeling of SiC-based materials that is relevant to this research, as is progress in modeling the effects of CNTs on fracture strength of SiC-based materials.« less
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  1. pnnl
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
44713; NT0104000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab. (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
SiC; MAX Phase; Fuel Cladding; Thermal Conductivity; Fission Product Diffusion; Modeling and Simulation; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory