Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Characterization of Oxide Growth of Aluminum Alloy 6061 for Nuclear Research and Test Reactors Public Deposited

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  • Oxide growth is a common phenomenon on aluminum alloy cladding surfaces in nuclear research and test reactors. Without better understanding of oxide growth, excessive oxide build up on the cladding surface reduces heat transfer capability from fuel to coolant and causes safety concerns due to the potential cladding rupture or fuel melt. The purpose of this research is to further the understanding of the oxide growth under the operational conditions in nuclear research and test reactors. The four main objectives of this project are to: 1. Extend the existing database for corrosion of aluminum alloy 6061 2. Evaluate the existing correlations for aluminum alloy corrosion under new experimental conditions 3. Help increase the research reactors' operation safety confidence 4. Evaluate the necessity of the pre-filmed boehmite ( AlO(OH) ) layer. The objectives were accomplished by exposing aluminum alloy 6061 coupons in a test loop operating at low pressure and low temperature. Data from the test loop such as temperature, pressure, pH and exposure time were recorded. SEM (Scanning electron microscope) and ImageJ analysis were used for post experiment examinations to obtain oxide thickness measurement data. Matlab was used to conduct oxide thickness prediction by using existing correlations. Oxide thickness predictions and measurements were compared. EDS (Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy) and XRD (X-Ray Diffraction) analysis were used to identify the oxide chemistry and stoichiometry.
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