Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 43, Issue 12, pp 4152–4156 | Cite as

Hot-pressed phosphate glass–ceramic matrix composites containing calcium phosphate particles for nuclear waste encapsulation

  • E. M. Michie
  • R. W. Grimes
  • A. R. BoccacciniEmail author
Rees Rawlings Festschrift


Sodium aluminium phosphate (NaAlP) glass–ceramic composites were produced as potential wasteforms for the immobilization of special categories of halide-containing radioactive waste. Sintering conditions for encapsulating a simulated waste (a calcinated mixture of calcium phosphate host and various oxides) in the cold-pressed NaAlP glass–ceramic were first determined and the results were compared with similar samples prepared by hot pressing. In both cases, the conditions aimed to provide a very high-density material, via as low production temperatures as possible, in conjunction with a high waste loading (75 wt.% simulated waste to 25 wt.% glass). It was found that by hot pressing and using a NaAlP glass–ceramic containing 2 mol% B2O3, significantly lower temperatures could be employed compared to the cold pressing and sintering route. The lowest temperature at which a sufficiently dense hot-pressed product was achieved (86% theoretical density), that exhibited mechanical properties similar to those of borosilicate glass (e.g. Young’s modulus 67 ± 2 GPa), was 550 °C. This processing temperature is considerably lower than values reported in the literature for similar systems. As such, hot pressing can be considered as a convenient technique for the fabrication of this type of composite for waste encapsulation.


B2O3 Phosphate Glass Glass Powder Waste Form Chemical Durability 



This work was carried out as part of the TSEC programme KNOO and as such we are grateful to the EPSRC for funding under grant EP/C549465/1. We are particularly grateful to Brian Metcalf, Ian Donald and Shirley Fong of AWE Aldermaston (UK) for invaluable discussions and who suggested this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. M. Michie
    • 1
  • R. W. Grimes
    • 1
  • A. R. Boccaccini
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of MaterialsImperial College LondonLondonUK

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