Long-Term Phase Instability in A Water-Quenched Uranium Alloy Page: 3 of 16
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Long-Term Phase Instability in A Water-Quenched Uranium Alloy
L. M. Hsiung and J. Zhou
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Chemistry and Materials Science Directorate
P.O. Box 808, L-352
Livermore, CA 94551-9900
The U-6 wt.% Nb (U6Nb) alloy in water-quenched (WQ) state has been in service for a
number of years. Its long-term reliability is affected by the changes of the alloy microstructure
and mechanical properties during service. In this communication, the water quenched U-6 wt.%
Nb (WQ-U6Nb) alloy in service for 15 years at ambient temperatures was studied using an
analytical TEM analysis. We found that the long-term natural aging resulted in a disorder-order
phase transformation, leading to the formation of anti-phase boundaries (APBs). The newly-
found ordered phase was then identified by proposing two phase transform schemes, which were
also discussed with regards to the potential subsequence of the microstructural evolution for the
alloy in further service. The initial study also provides convincing evidence for the disorder-
order transformation, which has been predicted by numerous studies to be a transient
thermodynamic event before spinodal decomposition. This suggests that the long-term naturally
aged WQ-U6Nb is a good model alloy to study thermodynamic and kinetic phenomena requiring
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Hsiung, L L & Zhou, J. Long-Term Phase Instability in A Water-Quenched Uranium Alloy, article, August 11, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc891738/m1/3/: accessed December 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.