Mechanical Behavior of FeCrAl and Other Alloys Following Exposure to LOCA Conditions Plus Quenching
The US Department of Energy is working with commercial fuel vendors to develop advanced technology or accident tolerant fuels (ATF) for the current fleet of light water power reactors. General Electric and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are evaluating the concept of using iron-chrome-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloys as cladding for the current fuel of uranium dioxide pellets. In the case of a loss of coolant accident, the reactor may need to be flooded with fresh water when the cladding could be in the temperature range above 1000 ℃. It is important to determine the integrity of the cladding material after being quenched in water. Tests were performed for six alloys of interest which were exposed for 2 h at 1200 ℃ in air, argon or steam and then quenched in ambient temperature water. The resulting mechanical properties were evaluated and compared with the mechanical properties of the as received material. The FeCrAl alloy retains its yield strength after the high temperature excursions, with minimal oxidation but with some loss of ductility.
KeywordsFeCrAl cladding Accident tolerant Thermal shock Mechanical properties
The authors would like to thank the characterization lab at GE Global Research, including Mike Larsen, Jae-Hyuk Her and Ian Spinelli. Great thanks to Lisa Sciubba at Lucideon (Schenectady, NY) for metallographic cross sections. The funding support from GE Hitachi is gratefully acknowledged. This material is based upon work supported by the Dept. of Energy [National Nuclear Security Administration] under Award Number DE-NE0008221. This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.
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