The modeling of a loss-of-coolant-accident scenario involving nuclear fuels with FeCrAl cladding materials in consideration to replace a Zircaloy requires knowledge of the thermodynamics of oxidized structures. At temperatures higher than 1500 °C, oxidation of FeCrAl alloys forms (Fe,Cr,Al)3O4 spinels. In situ high-energy X-ray diffraction in a conical nozzle levitator installed at beamline 6-ID-D of the APS was used to study the structural evolution of the oxides as a function of the temperature. Single-phase (spinel) and multiphase (spinel-corundum-FeAlO3) regions are mapped as a function of the temperature for three different compositions of FeCrAl oxidation products. The thermal expansion coefficients and cation distribution in the spinel structure have been refined. The temperature at which complete melting of the fuel cladding is expected has been determined by the liquidus temperatures of the oxidized products to be between 1657 and 1834 °C in a 20% O2/Ar atmosphere using the cooling trace method. The liquidus temperature increases with increasing Al and Cr content in the spinel phase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry