Layer Formation on Metal Surfaces in Lead-Bismuth At High Temperatures in Presence of Zirconium


If the operating temperature lead-bismuth cooled fission reactor could be extended to 800 °C, they could produce hydrogen directly from water. A key issue for the deployment of this technology at these temperatures is the corrosion of the fuel cladding and structural materials by the lead-bismuth. Corrosion studies of several metals were performed to correlate the interaction layer formation rate as a function of time, temperature, and alloy compositions. The interaction layer is defined as the narrow band between the alloy substrate and the solidified lead-bismuth eutectic on the surface. Coupons of HT-9, 410, 316L, and F22 were tested at 550 and 650 °C for 1000 h inside a zirconium corrosion cell. The oxygen potential ranged from approximately 10−22 to 10−19 Pa. Analyses were performed on the coupons to determine the depth of the interaction layer and the composition, at each time step (100, 300, and 1000 h). The thickness of the interaction layer on F22 at 550 °C was 25.3 μm, the highest of all the alloys tested, whereas at 650 °C, the layer thickness was only 5.6 μm, the lowest of all the alloys tested. The growth of the interaction layer on F22 at 650 °C was suppressed, owing to the presence of Zr (at 1500 wppm) in the LBE. In the case of 316L, the interaction layers of 4.9 and 10.6 μm were formed at 550 and 650 °C, respectively.


Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science


United States. Department of Energy

Keywords and Phrases

C0500; C0800; L0300; S0600; S0800; S1300

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2003 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2003