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Phase Changes in Pile‐Irradiated Uranium‐Base Alloys

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3 Author(s)
Bleiberg, M.L. ; Bettis Plant, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh 30, Pennsylvania ; Jones, L.J. ; Lustman, B.

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Specimens of U‐9, ‐10.5, ‐12, and ‐13.5 w/o (weight percent) Mo and U‐10 w/o Nb, heat treated to retain the metastable gamma phase at room temperature and also to transform this phase to the room temperature stable phases, were irradiated in the Materials Testing Reactor (MTR) at maximum temperatures of less than 200°C. Electrical resistivity, temperature coefficient of electrical resistivity, hardness, and density measurements as well as x‐ray diffraction patterns indicated that the stable phases at room temperature reverted to the metastable gamma phase during irradiation. No apparent changes in the microstructures of thermally transformed specimens were observed after irradiation. Lack of observable microstructural changes was attributed to the development of a ghost structure. X‐ray line broadening measurements indicated essentially complete homogenization of thermally transformed U‐Mo alloy specimens during irradiation. The mechanism of the phase reversal was explained on the basis of the displacement spike hypothesis.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 11 )

Date of Publication:

Nov 1956

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