Effect of sintering conditions on the microstructure and mechanical properties of ZrN as a surrogate for actinide nitride fuels

K. Wheeler, Pedro Peralta, M. Parra, K. McClellan, J. Dunwoody, G. Egeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Pellets of sintered ZrN were studied to optimize the mechanical properties and microstructures needed in nitride fuel pellets, using ZrN as a surrogate for actinide nitrides and as potential component in low fertile and inert matrix fuels. Samples were prepared via sintering in either Ar or N2 (with and without 6% H2) and at 1300 °C or 1600 °C. A significant difference in the hardness was measured ranging from 1000 (Kg/mm2) in samples sintered at 1600 °C in argon to 100 (Kg/mm2) in samples sintered at 1300 °C in nitrogen. Samples with 6% hydrogen added to the sintering environment experienced a decrease in hardness, as well as an increase in intergranular cracking as compared to samples sintered without hydrogen, suggesting hydrogen embrittlement. Grain size was more uniform in samples sintered in pure Ar as compared to Ar-H2, while the latter had a larger fraction of high angle grain boundaries than the former. Cracking around indents had a clear tendency to follow high angle boundaries, which were found to be intrinsically weak in ZrN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-316
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Volume366
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

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Actinoid Series Elements
Actinides
Nitrides
nitrides
Hydrogen
sintering
Sintering
Hardness
mechanical properties
Mechanical properties
microstructure
Microstructure
Hydrogen embrittlement
Argon
Grain boundaries
Nitrogen
pellets
hardness
hydrogen embrittlement
hydrogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

Cite this

Effect of sintering conditions on the microstructure and mechanical properties of ZrN as a surrogate for actinide nitride fuels. / Wheeler, K.; Peralta, Pedro; Parra, M.; McClellan, K.; Dunwoody, J.; Egeland, G.

In: Journal of Nuclear Materials, Vol. 366, No. 3, 01.07.2007, p. 306-316.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wheeler, K. ; Peralta, Pedro ; Parra, M. ; McClellan, K. ; Dunwoody, J. ; Egeland, G. / Effect of sintering conditions on the microstructure and mechanical properties of ZrN as a surrogate for actinide nitride fuels. In: Journal of Nuclear Materials. 2007 ; Vol. 366, No. 3. pp. 306-316.
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