Interdiffusion Behavior of FeCrAl with U3Si2
Advanced steels, including FeCrAl are being considered as an alternative to the standard light water fuel (LWR) cladding, Zircalloy. FeCrAl has superior mechanical and thermal properties and oxidation resistance relative to the Zircalloy standard . Uranium Silicide (U3Si2) is a candidate to replace uranium oxide (UO2) as LWR fuel because of its higher thermal conductivity and higher fissile density relative to the current standard, UO2. The interdiffusion behavior between FeCrAl and U3Si2 is investigated in this study. Commercially available FeCrAl, along with pellets fabricated at the Idaho National Laboratory were placed in diffusion couples. Individual tests have been run at temperatures ranging from 500 ℃ to 1000 ℃ for 30 h and 100 h. The interdiffusion is analyzed with an optical microscope and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Uniform and planar diffusion regions along the material interface are illustrated with backscatter electron micrographs and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS).
KeywordsAccident tolerant fuels U3Si2 FeCrAl Cladding
The authors gratefully acknowledge the work of INL electron microscopy staff Tammy Trowbridge and James Madden, as well as Michael Heiss and Michael Chapple for their help in design and fabrication of the diffusion couple holders.
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