Date: Monday, Mar 18th
Presenter: Indrajit Charit, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Idaho
The next generation nuclear reactors need to be much safer, more efficient, proliferation-resistant, economically viable and longer lasting (60 years and beyond) than the current ones. Materials used in these reactors should be able to withstand much higher temperatures, higher neutron doses and extremely corrosive environment, which are beyond the experience of the current nuclear power plants. Nanostructured ferritic alloys (NFAs) are considered promising materials for fuel cladding and other in-core structural applications. These alloys possess excellent high temperature strength and radiation damage tolerance primarily due to the presence of nanometric oxide particles. The talk will detail some challenges and opportunities in this research field taking into perspective the new interest generated by the NanoNuclear research and development. Specifically, the talk will focus on the ongoing research efforts on the development of a novel class of NFAs using the mechanical alloying and spark plasma sintering route. These nanostructured alloys contain copious ultrafine oxide (1.5-5 nm) nanofeatures that are instrumental in pinning mobile dislocations and serve as defect sinks. High resolution transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography were employed to characterize these nanofeatures. Density and hardness of the developed alloys were measured and correlated with microstructural characteristics. Also, general weldability issues for NFAs will be highlighted.
Indrajit Charit is an Assistant Professor in the Nuclear Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering programs of the University of Idaho. He earned his PhD degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 2004. After a postdoctoral stint at the Nuclear Engineering department of the North Carolina State University, he joined the faculty of the University of Idaho in 2007. His research interests involve different aspects of materials processing, microstructure and mechanical characterization with a focus on establishing processing-structure-properties relationships as applicable to advanced nuclear energy applications. His research is mainly supported by the Nuclear Energy University Programs and the Idaho National Laboratory. He is an author or co-author of more than 60 publications in various journals and conference proceedings. He has recently co-authored a textbook, An Introduction to Nuclear Materials: Fundamentals and Application published by Wiley-VCH. He teaches both traditional metallurgy and nuclear materials courses at the University of Idaho. He is the vice-chair of the TMS Nuclear Materials committee and a Key Reader of the journal Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A.