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Jungwirth, R.; Palancher, H.; Bonnin, A.; Bertrand-Drira, C.; Borca, C.; Honkimäki, V.; Jarousse, C.; Stepnik, B.; Park, Sohyun; Iltis, X.; Schmahl, Wolfgang W.; Petry, W. (2013): Microstructure of as-fabricated UMo/Al(Si) plates prepared with ground and atomized powder. In: Journal of Nuclear Materials, Vol. 438, No. 1-3: pp. 246-260
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UMo-Al based fuel plates prepared with ground U8wt\%Mo, ground U8wt\%MoX (X = 1 wt\%Pt, 1 wt\%Ti, 1.5 wt\%Nb or 3 wt\%Nb) and atomized U7wt\%Mo have been examined. The first finding is that that during the fuel plate production the metastable γ-UMo phases partly decomposed into two different γ-UMo phases, U2Mo and α′-U in ground powder or α″-U in atomized powder. Alloying small amounts of a third element to the UMo had no measurable effect on the stability of the γ-UMo phase. Second, the addition of some Si inside the Al matrix and the presence of oxide layers in ground and atomized samples is studied. In the case with at least 2 wt\%Si inside the matrix a Silicon rich layer (SiRL) forms at the interface between the UMo and the Al during the fuel plate production. The SiRL forms more easily when an Al-Si alloy matrix - which is characterized by Si precipitates with a diameter ≤1 μm - is used than when an Al-Si mixed powder matrix - which is characterized by Si particles with some μm diameter - is used. The presence of an oxide layer on the surface of the UMo particles hinders the formation of the SiRL.