Past research and fabrication conducted at SCKCEN on ferritic ODS alloys used as cladding for FBR’s fuel pins

Anne De Bremaecker, Marc Verwerft

    Research outputpeer-review


    In the 1960s in the frame of the sodium-cooled fast breeders, SCKCEN decided to develop claddings made with ferritic stainless materials because of their specific properties, namely a higher thermal conductivity, a lower thermal expansion, a lower tendency to He-embrittlement, and a lower swelling than the austenitic stainless steels. To enhance their lower creep resistance at 650–700 C arose the idea to strengthen the microstructure by oxide dispersions. This was the starting point of an ambitious programme where both the matrix and the dispersions were optimized. Ferritic 13 wt% Cr matrix was selected and its mechanical strength was improved through addition of ferritizing elements. Results of tensile and stress-rupture tests showed that Ti and Mo were the most beneficial elements, partly because of the chi-phase precipitation. To reach creep properties similar to those of AISI 316, different dispersions and methods were tested: internal oxidation (that was not conclusive), and the direct mixing of metallic and oxide powders (Al2O3, MgO, ZrO2, TiO2, ZrSiO4) followed by pressing, sintering, and extrusion. The choice of titania and yttria powders and their concentrations were finalized on the basis of their out-of-pile and in-pile creep and tensile strength.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-30
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
    StatePublished - Jan 2012

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