OSU Logo

Materials Science at Oregon State University

Silicon Carbide: An new-old material for nuclear science applications

Date: Thursday, Jan 28th
Presenter: Dr. Chuck Henager, Jr., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


Silicon carbide (SiC) is a versatile material for nuclear applications and has a long and varied history of practical uses in nuclear science. These uses include temperature and dose monitors and as pebble-bed reactor fuel outer coating layer. Currently, SiC is experiencing renewed interest as a material for nuclear applications that are somewhat different than previous ones. This renewed interest will be explored by discussing monolithic SiC and relatively recent SiCcomposites and some of their proposed uses in advanced fission and fusion energy, which include fuel pins, control rods, advanced structural materials, inert gas storage media, and as an insulator material for tritium breeding for fusion. This presentation will highlight the role of advanced composites on the design of new structural SiC-composite materials and will highlight the need for ceramic joining of this material.

Education and Training:
AB, Mathematics - Physics, Whitman College, 1976
BS, Materials Science and Engineering, Columbia University, 1976
PhD, Metallurgical Engineering, University of Washington, 1983

Research and Professional Experience:
Staff Scientist V, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 1976-present

Since joining PNNL in 1976, Dr. Henager has worked in a variety of materials science areas, concentrating on radiation effects, mechanical properties and strength of materials, optical and solar materials, and computational materials science of interfaces and deformation in metals and alloys. Currently he is program manager for a DOE/NNSA project modeling crystal growth processes for radiation detection materials and research task manager for SiC-composite research for DOE/Fusion Energy Sciences. He completed a year assignment to the US Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering in 1996-97 where he helped plan a major new initiative as the Computational Materials Science Network. He has published over 100 papers and articles, has edited two books, and has seven U.S. Patents.