Seven Years of Uranium Alloy Development at Weldon Spring, 1959/1966. Page: 32 of 47
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A related point of interest was the question of the precision versus the
magnitude of a texture coefficient. Consideration of the relationship between
the coefficient and the relative error of the X-ray intensity measured for that
peak led to the conclusion that for strong reflections, the relative error of
the texture coefficient is inversely proportional to the square root of the
magnitude of the coefficient, This conclusion is not valid for weak reflections
where the background count is an appreciable factor in the number of counts, but
it did permit appraisal of the change in relative precision to be expected for
different intensity levels.
The addition of an automated scanning device to the diffractometer made it
essential to assess its precision relative to that of manual runs. G2, G3, J2,
J3 and texture coefficients for the more important poles were determined by
both methods for a group of centrifugally cast core blanks. Comparison of the
data indicated that the precision of the automated runs was equivalent to that
of manual scans.?8
Structure.Variance Versus Mode of Beta.Quench
As a part of the program at the Savannah River Plant to develop an alloy fuel
with improved resistance to cavitational swelling during irradiation, an assort-
ment of alloys was prepared at Weldon Spring for reactor testing. The
compositions involved various combinations of Fe and Si of up to 350.ppm of each
with or without Al at 800 ppm, Cr at 250-ppm and Mo at 1000 ppm. Since
experience in the heat treatment of these alloys was lacking, a comparison was
made of textures resulting from four different modes of cooling from the beta
temperature (water quench, oil quench, quench into molten salt at 500*C., and
air cool).28'87 Study of the growth indices (G2), J factors, and axis distri-
bution coefficients led to the conclusion that the most randomly oriented
structures were achieved with either the salt quench or the oil quench. Core
blanks were therefore supplied for irradiation using both of these cooling
A new utilization of texture measurement was applied to the appraisal of
centrifugally cast core blanks that were proposed as the most desirable form
of application for electrolytically reduced uranium metal. In preparation for
the production of a test lot to be cast from the electrolytic cell, a quantity
of core blanks was centrifugally cast from a laboratory induction furnace at
Weldon Spring to permit inspection of the structure to be expected. Repre-
sentative samples of these castings were examined for variance from casting to
casting and from point to.point within specific castings.28
The beta heat treatments previously employed allowed the use of one or the other
of two methods of cooling,namely, an oil quench from the.salt bath or a 130 F.
water quench. The macrostructures prepared after quenching of the- cast cores,
showed in general a fine-grained structure but showed a tendency to contain
local grain clusters that suggested rather similar orientations. A comparison
of growth index values reported for such cores by the Savannah River Laboratory
with similar determinations made at Weldon Spring revealed a wide variation
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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/m1/32/?rotate=270: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.