Title: Preparation of SiC and Ag/SiC coatings on TRISO surrogate particles by Pulsed Laser Deposition
Citation: Proceedings of HTR 2014
Publisher: Tsinghua University
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC92065
URI: http://www.htr2014.cn/?type=common&action=conferenceprogram&PHPSESSID=e12f89ee864a84bfe1e5c96f5df4f628
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Recently published research results suggest significant advantages of using nanocrystalline instead of coarse grained SiC for nuclear applications. In this work it was attempted to prepare nanocrystalline SiC coatings on TRISO surrogate kernels using the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) process. As a plasma-based physical vapor deposition process, PLD allows the synthesis of dense and stoichiometric coatings in the amorphous or nanocrystalline phase. Two different types of TRISO surrogate kernels were used with outer diameters of 500 µm and 800 µm, respectively: plain Al2O3 kernels and ZrO2 kernels coated with TRISO-like buffer and pyrolytic carbon (PyC) layers. In a second step, the PLD process was used for the preparation of multilayer coatings consisting of a Ag layer buried with a SiC layer. The samples were analyzed regarding their morphology, microstructure, crystalline phase and chemical composition using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), laser scanning microscopy (LSM), x-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX). The samples will be used in future work for out-of-pile investigations of both thermal stability and Ag retention capability of nanocrystalline SiC layers. X-ray diffraction measurements did not confirm nanocrystallinity of the SiC coatings, but rather indicated that the coatings were mainly amorphous possibly with a little fraction of the nanocrystalline phase. Further analyses showed that some of the SiC coatings had an adequate stoichiometric composition and that Ag/SiC multilayer coatings were successfully produced by PLD. Coatings on TRISO-like buffer and PyC layers exhibited good adhesion to the substrate while coatings on Al2O3 kernels were susceptible to delamination. The results suggest that PLD is generally suitable for SiC coating of TRISO particles. However, further optimization of the process parameters such as the coating temperature is needed to obtain fine-grained non-columnar SiC layers that are stable under the demanding TRISO operating conditions.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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