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Report No.

Oxidation of silicon carbide in steam studied by laser heating

Pham, V. H. ; Nagae, Yuji; Kurata, Masaki; Furumoto, Kenichiro*; Sato, Hisaki*; Ishibashi, Ryo*; Yamashita, Shinichiro

Silicon carbide (SiC) has recently attracted much attention as a potential material for accident tolerant fuel cladding. To investigate the performance of SiC in severe accident conditions, study of steam oxidation at high temperatures is necessary. However, the study focusing on steam oxidation of SiC at temperatures above 1600$$^{circ}$$C is still certainly limited due to lack of test facilities. With the extreme oxidation/corrosion environment in steam at high temperatures, current refractory materials such as alumina and zirconia would not survive during the tests. Application of laser heating technique could be a great solution for this problem. Using laser heating technique, we can localize the heat and focus them on the test sample only. In this study, we developed a laser heating facility to investigate high-temperature oxidation of SiC in steam at temperature range of 1400-1800$$^{circ}$$C for 1-7 h. The oxidation kinetics is then being studied based on the weight gain and observation on cross-sectioned surface of tested sample using field emission scanning electron microscope. Off-gas measurement of hydrogen (H$$_{2}$$) and carbon monoxide (CO) generated during the test is also being conducted via a sensor gas chromatography. Current results showed that the SiC sample experienced a mass loss process which obeyed paralinear laws. Parabolic oxidation rate constant and linear volatilization rate constant of the process were calculated from the mass change of the samples. The apparent activation energy of the parabolic oxidation process was calculated to be 85 kJ.mol$$^{-1}$$. The data of the study also indicated that the mass change of SiC under the investigated conditions reached to its steady stage where hydrogen generation became stable. Above 1800$$^{circ}$$C, a unique bubble formation on sample surface was recorded.



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