The future production of low enriched uranium nuclear fuel for test reactors requires a well-adhered diffusion barrier coating of zirconium (Zr) on the uranium/molybdenum (U-Mo) alloy fuel. In this study, the interfacial bond between plasma sprayed Zr coatings and U-Mo fuel was characterized by microcantilever beam testing. Test results revealed the effect of specific flaws such as cracks and pores on the bonding of interfaces with a sampling area of approximately 20 μm2. TEM examination showed the Zr/U-Mo interface to contain rows of very fine grains (5-30 nm) with the Zr in contact with UO2. Bond characteristics of plasma sprayed samples were measured that are similar to those of roll bonded samples showing the potential for plasma sprayed Zr coatings to have high bond strength.
- Zr-based alloy
- adhesion testing
- adhesive strength
- cantilever beam method
- finite element modeling
- low pressure plasma spray (LPPS)
- transmission electron microscopy (TEM)