Oxidation behavior of U-Si compounds in air from 25 to 1000 C

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Abstract

The air oxidation behavior of U3Si2, USi, and U3Si5 is studied from room temperature to 1000 C. The onsets of breakaway oxidation for each compound are identified during synthetic air ramps to 1000 C using thermogravimetric analysis. Isothermal air oxidation tests are performed below and above the breakaway oxidation onset to discern the oxidation kinetic behavior of these candidate accident tolerant fuel forms. Uranium metal is tested in the same manner to provide a reference for the oxidation behavior. Thermogravimetric, x-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy analysis are presented here along with a discussion of the oxidation behavior of these materials and the impact of the lack of oxidation resistance to their deployment as accident tolerant nuclear fuels.

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Sooby Wood, E., White, J. T., & Nelson, A. T. (2017). Oxidation behavior of U-Si compounds in air from 25 to 1000 C. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 484, 245–257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2016.12.016

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