Special features in powder preparation, pressing, and sintering of uranium dioxide

Balakrishna, Palanki ; Murty, B. Narasimha ; Chakraborthy, K. P. ; Jayaraj, R. N. ; Ganguly, C. (2000) Special features in powder preparation, pressing, and sintering of uranium dioxide Materials and Manufacturing Processes, 15 (5). pp. 679-693. ISSN 1042-6914

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Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10426910008913013


Nuclear ceramic grade UO2 powders are usually prepared by the wet chemical ammonium diuranate route. The powders are pressed and sintered before incorporation into nuclear fuel assemblies. The processing is complex at all stages and the specifications are stringent. In powder preparation, slow addition of the precipitating reagent at a low temperature is recommended. The conditions for the drying of the precipitate, calcination and reduction are chosen to result in an agglomerate free, fine and porous powder that does not require milling or binder addition and is capable of being compacted and sintered to desired density with a homogeneous microstructure. The pressing conditions are chosen to give compacts that are free from defects such as cracking, chipping and end-capping. Sintering conditions are such that desintering, bloating, weathering and nitriding are avoided. Some insights that have been gained in powder preparation, pressing and sintering are presented in this paper. The relationship between powder characteristics and pressing and sintering properties is described.

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