Characterization of Interaction Layer in U-Mo-X (X = Nb, Zr) and U-Nb-Zr vs. Al Diffusion Couples Annealed at 600°C for 10 Hours
U-Mo has thus far proven to be one of the most feasible metallic fuel alloys for use in research and test reactors due to its high density and stability during irradiation. However, an adverse diffusional interaction can occur between the fuel alloy and the Al based matrix. This forms an interaction layer (IL) that has undesirable thermal properties and irradiation behavior leading to accelerated swelling and reduced fuel efficiency. This study focused on the effects of ternary alloying additions on the formation of IL between U based alloys and Al. Diffusion couples of U-8Mo-3Nb, U-7Mo-6Zr, and U-10Nb-4Zr (wt.%) vs. pure Al were assembled and annealed at 600°C for 10 hours. Both thickness and phase constituent analyses were performed via electron microscopy. The major phase constituent of the IL was determined to be the UAl3 intermetallic compound. The Nb and Zr alloying additions did not reduce growth rate of IL (1.3~1.4 m/sec1/2) as compared to couples made between binary U-Mo and Al (0.9~1.8 m/sec1/2).
Andreas Öchsner, Graeme E. Murch and João M.P.Q. Delgado
A. Ewh et al., "Characterization of Interaction Layer in U-Mo-X (X = Nb, Zr) and U-Nb-Zr vs. Al Diffusion Couples Annealed at 600°C for 10 Hours", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vols. 312-315, pp. 1055-1062, 2011