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Radiation damage in multiphase ceramics

Abstract : Four-phase ceramic composites containing 3 mol% Y2O3 stabilized ZrO2 (3Y-TZP), Al2O3, MgAl2O4, and LaPO4 were synthesized as model materials representing inert matrix fuel with enhanced thermal conductivity and decreased radiation-induced microstructural damage with respect to single-phase UO2. This multi-phase concept, if successful, could be applied to design advanced nuclear fuels which could then be irradiated to higher burn-ups. 3Y-TZP in the composite represents a host (fuel) phase with the lowest thermal conductivity and Al2O3 is the high thermal conductivity phase. The role of MgAl2O4 and LaPO4 was to stabilize the structure under irradiation. The radiation response was evaluated by ion irradiation at 500 degrees C with 10 MeV Au ions and at 800 degrees C with 92 MeV Xe ions, to simulate damage due to primary knock-on atoms and fission fragments, respectively. Radiation damage and microstructural changes were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy and computational modeling. Al2O3. Y2O3 stabilized ZrO2 and MgAl2O4 phases exhibit high amorphization resistance and remain stable when irradiated with both Au and Xe ions. A monoclinic-to-tetragonal phase transformation, however, is promoted by Xe and Au ion irradiation in 3Y-TZP. The LaPO4 monazite phase appears to melt, dewet the other phases, and recrystallize under Au irradiation, but does not change under Xe irradiation. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 10, 2014 - 11:30:15 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 5, 2021 - 3:09:31 PM

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D. Men, M. K. Patel, I. O. Usov, M. Toiammou, I. Monnet, et al.. Radiation damage in multiphase ceramics. Journal of Nuclear Materials, Elsevier, 2013, 443, pp.120-127. ⟨10.1016/j.jnucmat.2013.06.042⟩. ⟨in2p3-00926781⟩

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