Seven Years of Uranium Alloy Development at Weldon Spring, 1959/1966. Page: 27 of 47
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If one yields to the temptation to create a fanciful chemical formula for the
compounds, it is interesting to note that U15Al28Fe2 will conform rather well
in terms of weight percent to the actual analyses observed.
While the delineation of the binary constitutional diagrams has been completed
within the compositional ranges of interest for this development effort, it has
not been possible, within the time available, to match, the same degree of
completion for the ternary combinations. In general, an attempt has been made '
to prepare the details necessary for two isothermal sections.in the alpha phase,
two in the beta phase, and one in the lower portion of the gamma phase. This
intent has been more or less achieved for the U-Fe-Si and the U-Fe-Al diagrams
(The work on U-Fe-Al done at the laboratory of Nuclear Metals, Division of
Textron, Inc.se has been a valuable cross reference.). The time has been too
short, however, to secure sufficient data to permit the delineation of sections
of the U-Si-Al complex. There are data available, however, relating to impurity
solubility limits in UsSi, for example.
It should further be recognized that exploration of the diagrams at additive
levels below 300 ppm (which are of prime interest inassessing what has been
the working alloy range) represents a field in which it is quite difficult to
obtain equilibrium and at times involves precipitate sizes that may be so fine
as to exist unrecognized in the matrix. The true limits of solid solubility in
alpha uranium cannot, therefore, be plotted with confidence, particularly for
alloys containing aluminum. Despite this limitation, however,. the available
data make it clear that the behavior in all three systems is comparable in that
each system exhibits compounds which are soluble in the beta phase and which may
be precipitated in the alpha phase. In each system, therefore, there is
opportunity for control of grain size by suitable alpha plus beta heat treatments.
UAl2 is one possible exception to the norm in that with 800 ppm of contained
aluminum, the normal beta phase temperature employed in heat treatment may not
be high enough to dissolve all of the UAl. In general, however, the diagrams
have been of real assistance in making known the conditions of solubility and
precipitation that had only been guessed at in previous periods.
The Quaternary System, U-Fe-Si-Al
There has been no attempt, for obvious reasons, to achieve a graphical presen-
tation of a quaternary diagram. Actually, the knowledge of the three ternaries
serves very well in providing an understanding of what may happen in the
quaternary alloy. The experimental effort devoted to the quaternary system has
been concerned with the possible changes in solid solubility (as compared with
the -ternaries) both in the matrix and in the compounds.o2,27,58,84 Two compounds,
U8Fe and U3Si, appear to be essentially unchanged in composition in the four-
component alloy from that seen in the applicable ternary diagrams. For example,
aluminum is essentially insoluble in UeFe; and this compound in.the quarternary
alloy has the same composition as that existing inthe ternary U-Fe-Si. In the
same sense, iron appears to be essentially insoluble in U3Si; and this .compound
in the quaternary alloy shows the same ratio of uranium to silicon to aluminum
as exists in the ternary U-Si-Al.
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Fellows, J. A. Seven Years of Uranium Alloy Development at Weldon Spring, 1959/1966., report, January 1, 1966; Weldon Spring, Missouri. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1033773/m1/27/: accessed March 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.