An Innovative Ceramic Corrosion Protection System for Zircaloy Cladding

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Light Water reactor (LWR) fuel performance is currently limited by thermal, chemical and mechanical constraints associated with the design, fabrication, and operation of the fuel in incore operation. Corrosion of the zirconium based (Zircaloy-4) alloy cladding of the fuel is a primary limiting factor. Recent success at the University of Florida in developing thin ceramic films with great adhesive properties for metal substrates offers an innovative breakthrough for eliminating a major weakness of the Zircaloy clad. ?The University of Florida proposes to coat the existing Zircaloy clad tubes with a ceramic coating for corrosion protection. An added bonus of this ... continued below

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Baney, Ronald H.; Tulenko, James S.; Butt, D.; Demkowicz, P.; Fuchs, G.; Schoessow, G. et al. February 19, 2003.

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Light Water reactor (LWR) fuel performance is currently limited by thermal, chemical and mechanical constraints associated with the design, fabrication, and operation of the fuel in incore operation. Corrosion of the zirconium based (Zircaloy-4) alloy cladding of the fuel is a primary limiting factor. Recent success at the University of Florida in developing thin ceramic films with great adhesive properties for metal substrates offers an innovative breakthrough for eliminating a major weakness of the Zircaloy clad. ?The University of Florida proposes to coat the existing Zircaloy clad tubes with a ceramic coating for corrosion protection. An added bonus of this approach would be the implementation of a boron-containing burnable poison outer layer will also be demonstrated as part of the ceramic coating development. In this proposed effort, emphasis will be on the ceramic coating with only demonstration of feasibility on the burnable outer coating approach. This proposed program i s expected to give a step change (approximately a doubling) in clad lifetime before failure due to corrosion. In the development of ceramic coatings for Zircaloy-4 clad, silicon carbide and zirconium carbide coatings will first be applied to Zircaloy-4 coupons and cladding samples by thermal assisted chemical vapor deposition, plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition or by laser ablation deposition. All of these processes are in use at the University of Florida and have shown great potential. The questions of adhesion and thermal expansion mismatch of the ceramic coating to the Zircaloy substrate will be addressed. Several solutions to these conditions will be examined, if needed. These solutions include the use of a zirconium oxide compliant layer, employment of a laser roughened surface and the use of a gradient composition interlayer. These solutions have already been shown to be effective for other high modulus coatings on metal substrates. Mechanical properties and adhesion of the coatings will be monitored as a function of the coating process parameters. The corrosion protection of the various coatings will be evaluated by accelerated corrosion testing. Engineering requirements for coating a full size Zircaloy clad tube will be determined. It is expected that the coating process will add approximately 10 dollars or 10% to the price of a tube. In the second approach, the University of Florida will demonstrate the feasibility to add a boron carbide outer layer to functions as a burnable poison.(B204)

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OSTI as DE00808072

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  • Other Information: PBD: 19 Feb 2003

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FG03-99SF21882
  • DOI: 10.2172/808072 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 808072
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc739566

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • February 19, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 6:11 p.m.

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Baney, Ronald H.; Tulenko, James S.; Butt, D.; Demkowicz, P.; Fuchs, G.; Schoessow, G. et al. An Innovative Ceramic Corrosion Protection System for Zircaloy Cladding, report, February 19, 2003; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc739566/: accessed October 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.