Alteration of Microstructure of West Valley Glass by Heat Treatment


Samples of West Valley reference glass WVCM–59 were subjected to isothermal heat treatment according to a systematic schedule of time-temperature combinations. Phases crystallizing during heat treatment were analyzed and quantified using an SEM equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray detector and image processing and analyzing capabilities. Only small amounts of noble metals (e.g. Rh, Pd) and RuO2 were present in the as-melted glass, but these frequently serve as nucleation sites during heat treatment. Iron-group spinels containing Fe, Ni, Cr, and Mn in variable proportions were the most common phases observed, appearing in quantities up to 3.5 vol% in heat treated glass. The formation of a thoria-ceria phase occurred at temperatures of 900°C and below. Acmites formed at temperatures of 800°C and below. A lithium phosphate phase with a particularly interesting morphology developed after prolonged heat treatment at temperatures between 600–750°C. The same phase appeared in a range of glass compositions. However, canister cooling curves preclude such a phase in production glass. Furthermore, no such phase was found in actual canister-cooled glass.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    I. Joseph, A. Mathur, J. Sehgal, D. Butts, T. Palmiter and L. D. Pye. The Properties and Crystallization Behavior of West Valley Reference Borosilicate Glass. Progress Report for the period October 1, 1987-September 30, 1988 Alfred University: Alfred, N. Y. 21, 22 (1988).

  2. 2.

    L. R. Eisenstatt. West Valley Nuclear Services Co. Inc., Technical Advisory #43, West Valley, N. Y. (1987).

  3. 3.

    M. L. Keith. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 37 490 (1954).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Dennis F. Bickford and Carol M. Jantzen. Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management VII. edited by G. L. McVay (Elsevier Scientific Publishers, New York, 1984) pp. 557–566.

  5. 5.

    Carol M. Jantzen and Dennis F. Bickford, Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management VIII, edited by C. M. Jantzen, J. A. Stone, and R. C. Ewing, (Mater. Res. Soc. Proc. 44, Pittsburgh, PA, 1986) pp. 135–146.

  6. 6.

    Carol M. Jantzen, Dennis F. Bickford, and David G. Karraker, Advances in Ceramics, 8 (Am. Ceram. Soc, Columbus, OH 1984) pp 30–38.

  7. 7.

    R. K. Osterheld. Inorg. Nucl. Chem. 30, 3174 (1968).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Buechele, A.C., Feng, X., Gu, H. et al. Alteration of Microstructure of West Valley Glass by Heat Treatment. MRS Online Proceedings Library 176, 393 (1989).

Download citation