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Preparation and Characterization of Zirconium Carbide Coating on Coated Fuel Particles

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Compact and uniform zirconium carbide (ZrC) coatings have been successfully deposited on coated fuel particles using a ZrCl4+H2+Ar+C3H6 gas mixture. Zirconium tetrachloride (ZrCl4) powder feeder was especially designed and manufactured to control accurately the flow rate of ZrCl4 and produce ZrC on an industrial scale. The coating has a large density (6.57 g/cm3), a thickness of 35 m, a stoichiometry close to Zr/C=1, and a clear interface between the coating and substrate. The coating exhibits an fcc-ZrC phase with a grain size of 11.18 nm and a (111) texture coefficient of 0.57, which corresponds to a polycrystalline microstructure of randomly oriented ZrC grains. The preparation apparatus, processing conditions, properties, microstructures, and morphologies of the ZrC coating are investigated systematically.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Publication date: November 1, 2007


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