Desenvolvimento de técnicas para avaliação de combustíveis nucleares tipo placa pelo método de ensaio por ultra-som




One of the most important steps in the fabrication processes of plate type nuclear fuels, intended to be used in research reactors or naval propulsion, is the development of nondestructive testing (NDT) methods and techniques for their quality assessment during fabrication and post-irradiation analysis. Those tests can contribute to detect discontinuities such as cracks and fails in meat-cladding junctions, that can lead to failures when installed and used in reactors. Examples of NDT methods that may be used for this purpose are visual inspection, radiography, eddy current and ultrasound. The objective of this study is to present the utilization of ultrasound methods to evaluate plate type nuclear fuels. Due to the small thicknesses of such kind of fuels, as well as the presence of different materials, the ultrasonic transducers used to perform the experiments were immersion type or contact with delay shims. Furthermore, a dummy plate fuel, constituted by a dispersion of UO2 in stainless steel matrix, with stainless steel cladding, was specially constructed. In the surface of such plate, several kinds of artificial reflectors, simulating the presence of natural flaws were machined. For immersion type ultrasonic transducers, a mechanical scanning system was developed to allow the determination of their sonic beam profiles and identification of the highest sensitivity beam region. Additionally, some acoustic lenses, useful to help on beam focalization, were fabricated and used, but the expected performance was not achieved. The use of different kinds of ultrasonic transducers allowed the establishing of a methodology to detect discontinuities of different geometry and sizes. The developed dummy fuel demonstrated to be adequate for the studies of sensitivity of the test system.


combustíveis nucleares placas combustíveis nondestructive testing nuclear fuels fuel plates engenharia nuclear ensaios não-destrutivos ultrasonic testing

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