SPS Fabrication of Tungsten and Tungsten Rhenium Alloys in Support of NTR Fuels Development

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Conference Proceeding

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Tungsten metal slugs were fabricated via Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) of powdered metals at temperatures ranging from 1575 K to 1975 K and hold times of 5 minutes to 30 minutes, using powders with an average diameter of 7.8 µm. Sintered tungsten specimens were found to have relative densities ranging from 83% to 94% of the theoretical density for tungsten. Consolidated specimens were also tested for their Vickers Hardness Number (VHN), which were plotted as a function of relative density. Concurrently, tungsten and rhenium powders with average respective diameters of 0.5 µm and 13.3 µm were pre-processed either by High-Energy-Ball-Milling (HEBM) or by homogeneous mixing to yield W-25at.%Re mixtures. The powder batches were sintered at temperatures of 1975 K and 2175 K for hold times up to 60 minutes yielding relative densities in the range 94% to 97%. The combination of HEBM and sintering showed a significant decrease in the intermetallic phases compared to that of the homogenous mixing and sintering.

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