Ex-Reactor Determination of Thermal Gap Conductance between Uranium Dioxide: Zircaloy-4 Interfaces
A study of thermal gap conductance between UO2 and Zircaloy-4 has been initiated utilizing a unique transient pulse technique: Modified Pulse Design (MPD)—a technique employing a heat pulse (laser) and signal detector to monitor the energy transmitted through UO2-Zircaloy samples both in contact and separated by a gap. Initial experiments have been conducted as a function of temperature (to 873°K), gas composition (He, He:Ar, Ar), and gap width 6.0 × 10-4 and 2.18 × 10-3cm). The thermal gap conductance is dependent upon these variables, and comparison with calculated results using existing models for the temperature jump distance is made. A concept involving direct energy transfer across narrow gaps by individual gas molecules is also considered.
KeywordsHeat Pulse Uranium Dioxide Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thermal Contact Conductance Thermal Interface Conductance
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