Seven Years of Uranium Alloy Development at Weldon Spring, 1959/1966. Page: 28 of 47
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The data do not support this same situation for UAl2 in the quaternary system.
Silicon appears to be substantially insoluble in this compound, and one would
therefore expect the same composition in the four-component alloy as would exist
in the ternary of U-Fe-Al. The experimental data indicate, however, that the
iron limit in the quaternary modification of UAl2(Fe) is approximately one-half
the level found in the ternary form. This appears to be a questionable
conclusion, and it is suggested that the findings need re-examination.
Except for this abnormality concerning UAl2(Fe), it seems possible to conclude
that the limits of solid solubility in the matrix and in the compounds duplicate
very closely those pertaining to the relevant ternary diagrams; and more
explicit information concerning these aspects of the four-component system does
not appear to be particularly needful.
As has been mentioned, the program to define the ternary system of U-C-Fe-Si was
undertaken by the metallurgical department of the University of Florida at
Gainsville under contract with National Lead Co. of Ohio; very little effort
has been expended on this diagram at the Weldon Spring laboratory. One
experiment, however, is pertinent and should be assessed in examining the
results to be reported from Gainsville. Comparable samples of ingot and dingot
containing iron and silicon at equivalent levels were soaked for five weeks at
600*C. in an effort to see whether the difference in carbon level between these
two metals provided any change in the condition of the precipitates. From this
point of view, the two compositions appeared to be completely identical in
behavior. It was concluded that from the standpoint of precipitate formation
(and therefore control of grain size), the U-Fe-Si diagram could be used for
any ingot metal containing equivalent levels of iron and silicon additive.50
Three other elements have been used from time to time in various combinations
with those discussed in the preceding paragraphs, namely, chromium, molybdenum,
and zirconium. No work has been done at Weldon Spring on. the equilibrium
diagrams that would pertain to such combinations. It would be interesting,
however, to determine what new compounds might be introduced and whether
further changes in the three compounds that have been studied at length would
be encountered. It would seem.likely that the behavior of Cr, Mo, and Zr might
depend in part on the carbon content of the uranium since all three tend to form
various carbide compounds. If such were present in particular quantity, it
would be important to learn whether the carbide particle size characteristic of
any one of the additives would be sufficiently fine to act beneficially in
refining the grain structure or resisting the effects of irradiation. If this
should be the case,.it would be a different behavior than that seen for the
uranium carbide which has generally been too coarse to provide the benefits
that otherwise might be expected from it.
Suggestions for Further Work
While the delineation of the phase diagrams appears to be reasonably complete,
there are a number of areas in which further exploration of these diagrams could
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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/m1/28/: accessed March 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.