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The Stability of Irradiation-Induced Defects in Zr 3AlC 2, Nb 4AlC 3 and (Zr 0.5,Ti 0.5) 3AlC 2 Max Phase-Based Ceramics

48 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2019 First Look: Accepted

See all articles by D. Bowden

D. Bowden

University of Manchester - School of Materials

J. Ward

University of Manchester - School of Materials

S. Middleburgh

Bangor University - Nuclear Futures: Materials

S. de Moraes Shubeita

University of Manchester - Dalton Cumbrian Facility

E. Zapata-Solvas

Imperial College London - Department of Materials

T. Lapauw

KU Leuven - Department of Materials Engineering

J. Vleugels

KU Leuven - Department of Materials Engineering

K. Lambrinou

University of Huddersfield - School of Computing and Engineering

W. E. Lee

Imperial College London - Department of Materials

M. Preuss

University of Manchester - School of Materials

P. Frankel

University of Manchester - School of Materials

Abstract

This work is a first assessment of the radiation tolerance of the nanolayered ternary carbides (MAX phases), Zr3AlC2, Nb4AlC3 and (Zr0.5,Ti0.5)3AlC2, using proton irradiation followed by post-irradiation examination based primarily on x-ray diffraction analysis. These specific MAX phase compounds are being evaluated as candidate coating materials for fuel cladding applications in advanced nuclear reactor systems. The aim of using a MAX phase coating is to protect the substrate fuel cladding material from corrosion damage during its exposure to the primary coolant. Proton irradiation was used in this study as a surrogate for neutron irradiation in order to introduce radiation damage into these ceramics at reactor-relevant temperatures. The post-irradiation examination of these materials revealed that the Zr-based 312-MAX phases, Zr3AlC2 and (Zr0.5,Ti0.5)3AlC2 have a superior ability for defect-recovery above 400 °C, whilst the Nb4AlC3 does not demonstrate any appreciable defect recovery below 600 °C. Density functional theory calculations have demonstrated that the structural differences between the 312 and 413-MAX phase structures govern the variation of the irradiation tolerance of these materials.

Keywords: Irradiation effect, ceramics, density functional theory (DFT), x-ray diffraction (XRD), lattice strains

Suggested Citation

Bowden, D. and Ward, J. and Middleburgh, S. and Shubeita, S. de Moraes and Zapata-Solvas, E. and Lapauw, T. and Vleugels, J. and Lambrinou, K. and Lee, W. E. and Preuss, M. and Frankel, P., The Stability of Irradiation-Induced Defects in Zr 3AlC 2, Nb 4AlC 3 and (Zr 0.5,Ti 0.5) 3AlC 2 Max Phase-Based Ceramics (July 3, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3414012

D. Bowden (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - School of Materials ( email )

United Kingdom

J. Ward

University of Manchester - School of Materials

United Kingdom

S. Middleburgh

Bangor University - Nuclear Futures: Materials

United Kingdom

S. de Moraes Shubeita

University of Manchester - Dalton Cumbrian Facility

United Kingdom

E. Zapata-Solvas

Imperial College London - Department of Materials

South Kensington
United Kingdom

T. Lapauw

KU Leuven - Department of Materials Engineering

Belgium

J. Vleugels

KU Leuven - Department of Materials Engineering

Belgium

K. Lambrinou

University of Huddersfield - School of Computing and Engineering

Queensgate
Huddersfield, HD1 3DH
United Kingdom

W. E. Lee

Imperial College London - Department of Materials

South Kensington
United Kingdom

M. Preuss

University of Manchester - School of Materials

United Kingdom

P. Frankel

University of Manchester - School of Materials

United Kingdom

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