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INTERDIFFUSION BEHAVIOR OF U-MO ALLOYS IN CONTACT WITH AL AND AL-SI ALLOYS

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Date Issued:
2011
Abstract/Description:
U-Mo dispersion and monolithic fuels embedded in Al-alloy matrix are under development to fulfill the requirements of research reactors to use low-enriched molybdenum stabilized uranium alloys as fuels. The system under consideration in this study consisted of body centered cubic (gamma) U-Mo alloys embedded in an Al structural matrix. Significant interaction has been observed to take place between the U-Mo fuel and the Al matrix during manufacturing of the fuel-plate system assembly and during irradiation in reactors. These interactions produce Al-rich phases with physical and thermal properties that adversely affect the performance of the fuel system and can lead to premature failure. In this study, interdiffusion and microstructural development in the U-Mo vs. Al system was examined using solid-to-solid diffusion couples consisting of U-7wt.%Mo, U-10wt.%Mo and U-12wt.%Mo vs. pure Al, annealed at 600°C for 24 hours. The influence of Si alloying addition (up to 5 wt.%) in Al on the interdiffusion microstructural development was also examined using solid-to-solid diffusion couples consisting of U-7wt.%Mo, U-10wt.%Mo and U-12wt.%Mo vs. pure Al, Al-2wt.%Si, and Al-5wt.%Si annealed at 550°C for 1, 5 and 20 hours. To further clarify the diffusional behavior in the U-Mo-Al and U-Mo-Al-Si systems, Al-rich 85.7Al-11.44U-2.86Mo, 87.5Al-10U-2.5Mo, 56.1Al-18.9Si-21.9U-3.1Mo and 69.3Al-11.9Si-18.8U (at.%) alloys were cast and homogenized at 500°C to determine the equilibrium phases of the system. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were employed to examine the phase development in the diffusion couples and the cast alloys. In ternary U-Mo-Al diffusion couples annealed at 600°C for 24 hours, the interdiffusion microstructure consisted of finely dispersed UAl3, UAl4, U6Mo4Al43, and UMo2Al20 phases while the average composition throughout the interdiffusion zone remained constant at approximately 80 at.% Al. The interdiffusion microstructures observed by EPMA, SEM and TEM analyses were correlated to explain the observed morphological development in the interdiffusion zones. The concept of thermodynamic degrees of freedom was used to justify that, although deviations are apparent, the interdiffusion zones did not significantly deviate from an equilibrium condition in order for the observed microstructures to develop. Selected diffusion couples developed periodic bands within the interdiffusion zone as sub-layers in the three-phase regions. Observation of periodic banding was utilized to augment the hypothesis that internal stresses play a significant role in the phase development and evolution of U-Mo vs. pure Al diffusion couples. The addition of Si (up to 5 wt.%) to the Al significantly reduced the growth rate of the interdiffusion zone. The constituent phases and composition within the interdiffusion zone were also modified. When Si was present in the Al terminal alloys, the interdiffusion zones developed layered morphologies with fine distributions of the (U,Mo)(Al,Si)3 and UMo2Al20 phases. The U6Mo4Al43 phase was observed scarcely in Si depleted regions within the interdiffusion zone. The phase development and evolution of the interdiffusion zone was described in terms of thermodynamic degrees of freedom with minimal deviations from equilibrium.
Title: INTERDIFFUSION BEHAVIOR OF U-MO ALLOYS IN CONTACT WITH AL AND AL-SI ALLOYS.
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Name(s): Perez, Emmanuel, Author
Sohn, Yong-Ho, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: U-Mo dispersion and monolithic fuels embedded in Al-alloy matrix are under development to fulfill the requirements of research reactors to use low-enriched molybdenum stabilized uranium alloys as fuels. The system under consideration in this study consisted of body centered cubic (gamma) U-Mo alloys embedded in an Al structural matrix. Significant interaction has been observed to take place between the U-Mo fuel and the Al matrix during manufacturing of the fuel-plate system assembly and during irradiation in reactors. These interactions produce Al-rich phases with physical and thermal properties that adversely affect the performance of the fuel system and can lead to premature failure. In this study, interdiffusion and microstructural development in the U-Mo vs. Al system was examined using solid-to-solid diffusion couples consisting of U-7wt.%Mo, U-10wt.%Mo and U-12wt.%Mo vs. pure Al, annealed at 600°C for 24 hours. The influence of Si alloying addition (up to 5 wt.%) in Al on the interdiffusion microstructural development was also examined using solid-to-solid diffusion couples consisting of U-7wt.%Mo, U-10wt.%Mo and U-12wt.%Mo vs. pure Al, Al-2wt.%Si, and Al-5wt.%Si annealed at 550°C for 1, 5 and 20 hours. To further clarify the diffusional behavior in the U-Mo-Al and U-Mo-Al-Si systems, Al-rich 85.7Al-11.44U-2.86Mo, 87.5Al-10U-2.5Mo, 56.1Al-18.9Si-21.9U-3.1Mo and 69.3Al-11.9Si-18.8U (at.%) alloys were cast and homogenized at 500°C to determine the equilibrium phases of the system. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were employed to examine the phase development in the diffusion couples and the cast alloys. In ternary U-Mo-Al diffusion couples annealed at 600°C for 24 hours, the interdiffusion microstructure consisted of finely dispersed UAl3, UAl4, U6Mo4Al43, and UMo2Al20 phases while the average composition throughout the interdiffusion zone remained constant at approximately 80 at.% Al. The interdiffusion microstructures observed by EPMA, SEM and TEM analyses were correlated to explain the observed morphological development in the interdiffusion zones. The concept of thermodynamic degrees of freedom was used to justify that, although deviations are apparent, the interdiffusion zones did not significantly deviate from an equilibrium condition in order for the observed microstructures to develop. Selected diffusion couples developed periodic bands within the interdiffusion zone as sub-layers in the three-phase regions. Observation of periodic banding was utilized to augment the hypothesis that internal stresses play a significant role in the phase development and evolution of U-Mo vs. pure Al diffusion couples. The addition of Si (up to 5 wt.%) to the Al significantly reduced the growth rate of the interdiffusion zone. The constituent phases and composition within the interdiffusion zone were also modified. When Si was present in the Al terminal alloys, the interdiffusion zones developed layered morphologies with fine distributions of the (U,Mo)(Al,Si)3 and UMo2Al20 phases. The U6Mo4Al43 phase was observed scarcely in Si depleted regions within the interdiffusion zone. The phase development and evolution of the interdiffusion zone was described in terms of thermodynamic degrees of freedom with minimal deviations from equilibrium.
Identifier: CFE0003747 (IID), ucf:48778 (fedora)
Note(s): 2011-05-01
Ph.D.
Engineering and Computer Science, Department of Mechanical Materials and Aerospace Engineering
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): uranium
molybdenum
U-Mo
diffusion
interdiffusion
RERTR
reduced enrichment for research and test reactors
reduced enrichment
research reactor
test reactor
reactor fuel
stress
periodic band
TEM
EPMA
reaction diffusion
degrees of freedom
irradiation
equilibrium
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0003747
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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