Synthesis and sintering of ZrC1-x powders with variable stoichiometry (0

Conference Dates

September 4-8, 2016


ZrC is a potential candidate for high temperature nuclear applications, such as nuclear fuel cladding on TRISO fuels and as a coating on conventional clad in the third and fourth generation of fission nuclear power plants due to its refractoriness, chemical stability, high thermal conductivity, irradiation tolerance as well as low activation under neutron irradiation [1]. The variation in C content in ZrC1-x is known to produce a significant variation in physical properties, such as thermal and electrical conductivity over the range x=0.0-0.2, and a non-monotonic change in lattice parameter that peaks in the same range of stoichiometry (figure 1.) We have investigated the evolution of the distribution of C vacancies with the C content. Usually, ZrC is prepared from ZrO2 followed by a carbothermal reduction process at high temperatures under an inert atmosphere. Recently, a work in our group showed that ZrC1-x for stoichiometry x<0.2 have a non-negligible amount of O, and could be therefore considered oxy-carbides rather than carbides [2]. This may indicate that the previously reported ZrC could also contain O, since that earlier work dates back to the 1970s.

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