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Title: Study of carbide composites and their interfaces for generation IV nuclear reactor
Author: Kwamman, Tanagorn
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 2039
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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Carbide based materials (SiC, TiC and ZrC) have long been suggested for use within core components and structural materials in the next generation of fission reactors. Their characteristics satisfy the reactor material criteria in terms of good mechanical property, corrosion resistance, fission product retention ability, and low neutron cross section absorption. However, a major drawback of such materials is their brittleness. Thus, the aim of this project is to overcome this brittle behaviour by the fabrication of carbide composites. In addition to this, understanding the various composite interfaces (Ex. TiC/TiC, TiC/SiC and SiC/SiC) will give crucial information for materials design and simulation. TiC-SiC composites were prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS). The relative density of TiC-30%SiC (70% and 30% mole of TiC and SiC, respectively) and TiC-50%SiC (50% and 50% mole of TiC and SiC, respectively) reached to approximately 99 % without sintering aids at SPS temperature of 2100 °C, 50 MPa. Morphology and mechanical properties correlation were investigated by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). They exhibited excellent thermal and mechanical properties. Thermal conductivities of TiC-30% and 50% SiC are 67 and 50 W/m K-1 respectively and stable over 100 – 500 °C. Their Vickers hardness was 26-31 GPa. Remarkably, the fracture toughness of TiC-SiC composites (~ 7.9 MPa vm) was considerably higher than TiC, SiC and previous reports. Moreover, ZrC-SiC composites were prepared and investigated by similar procedure as TiC-SiC composites. Their mechanical and thermal properties were worse than TiC-SiC composites in that their facture toughness and thermal conductivity was about 3.2 MPa vm and 30-50 W/m K-1 at room temperature. However, ZrC-SiC composites are interesting in term of low neutron absorption.
Supervisor: Rainforth, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available