Joining of Tungsten Cermet Nuclear Fuel, Phase II

Metadata Updated: February 28, 2019

Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) has been identified as a critical technology needed for human missions to Mars and beyond due to its increased specific impulse (Isp) as compared to traditional chemical propulsion systems. Recently, the Game Changing Development (GCD) Program, which is a partnership between NASA, DOE, and industry, was initiated to evaluate the feasibility of a low enriched uranium (LEU) NTP system. A critical aspect of NTP is to develop a robust, stable fuel. One of the fuel configurations currently being evaluated is a W-UO2 cermet. Fabrication of full-size cermet elements (>20?) has proven to be difficult. As a result, the use of cermet segments to produce a full-size fuel element is of interest. However, techniques for joining the segments are needed. During Phase I, diffusion bonding techniques were developed for producing fuel elements from cermet segments. Microscopic examination and preliminary properties testing showed excellent joints were formed. For example, quantitative tensile testing of W samples produced at 1500C HIP with a Nb interfacial coating showed the failures were in the bulk W and not at the Nb-W interfaces. Therefore, the strength of the joints were greater than the strength of the bulk W material. Using the most promising fabrication methods, a 6.3' long simulated cermet fuel element comprised of twenty-five 0.25' thick segments was produced to demonstrate proof-of-concept. During the Phase II investigation, the HIP diffusion bonding process will be optimized for making W cermet based fuel elements. This will be accomplished by performing a process parameter-characterization-properties study. The optimized fabrication methods will then be used to make prototype fuel elements with W claddings and subscale fuel elements for delivery to NASA for hot hydrogen testing.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: U.S. Government Work

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date February 28, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_93585
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 084bf9d5-8ccc-43eb-8f2b-7deec48eddae
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2019-04-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2018-07-19
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 28e78db9cb905cf14dcb0a43b1971606f1fd3fa3
Source Schema Version 1.1

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