April 11, 2018 at 11:06 am #2842
Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory were interested in evaluating a metal matrix composite (MMC) material comprised of hafnium aluminide (Al3Hf) intermetallic particles in an aluminum matrix, which had been identified as a promising material for fast-flux irradiation testing applications. This material can filter thermal neutrons while simultaneously providing high rates of conductive cooling for experiment capsules.
The purpose of this work was to investigate effects of HfAl material composition and neutron irradiation on thermophysical properties, which were measured before and after irradiation. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), laser flash analysis (LFA), serial sectioning using Robo-Met.3D®, were all used to obtain microstructure-property relationships were for the thermal conductivity. These relationships are useful for designing components from this material to operate in irradiation environments.
3D Analysis of the MMCs with Robo-Met.3D did reveal the presence of larger than expected voids with diameters on the order of 30-50 micrometers.
Guillen, D. P., & Harris, W. H. (2016). Measurement and Simulation of Thermal Conductivity of Hafnium-Aluminum Thermal Neutron Absorber Material. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions E, 3(3), 123-133.
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