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Ceramic Composite Materials


Development of Ceramic Composite Materials and Structural Elements for High-Temperature Nuclear Reactors

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-COM/Composites/Materials

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Solid State Physics, Russia, Moscow reg., Chernogolovka

Supporting institutes

  • FEI (IPPE), Russia, Kaluga reg., Obninsk\nObninsk Scientific - Production Corporation Technology, Russia, Kaluga reg., Obninsk\nMATI, Russia, Moscow


  • University of Cambridge, UK, Cambridge

Project summary

The project aims at the development of ceramic composite materials and structural elements which can be a base to proceed with designing and building up high temperature nuclear reactors which should be both safer and more effective than those now in use.

Technical approach

To reach the main goal of the project, it is planned to

1. Analyze principal and structural schemes of high temperature nuclear reactors, energy transformer and other systems of the power station and formulate requirements to both ceramics and substances the ceramics are composed of.
2. Analyze strengthening schemes of ceramics and composites, such as controlling microstructure, fibrous reinforcement, etc., study fabrication-structure-properties dependencies for those materials.
3. Develop fabrication technology schemes and laboratory scale technologies for producing ceramic based composites as well as typical elements of reactors, such as thin-walled tubular elements, collectors, heat exchangers, elements of the reactor body, etc.
4. Study the behavior of materials to be developed under service conditions including corrosion and radiation environments.

The project work will be carried out by a large group of scientists and engineers used to be involved hi the development of weapon, in particular, in the R & D work on nuclear reactors for submarines (FE1) and materials for jet engines of strategic bombers and other carriers of nuclear weapon (SSPI, Technology, MATI).

The following types of ceramic materials will be considered as a base for material developing.

I. Fibrous composites of a metal-fibre/ceramic-matrix type, an example being molybdenum/oxide composites.
II. Fibrous composites of a ceramic-fibre/ceramic-matrix type obtained by using both the internal crystallization, an example of such composites being oxide/oxide composites, as well as rather traditional powder metallurgy methods.
III. Ceramic materials which have being obtained by using both well known strengthening and toughening methods and those at the developing stage. A special attention will be paid to the synthesis and preparation of the raw materials.
IV. Composite ceramics of a laminated-granular microstructure initially at using as a material for high temperature electrodes for magneto hydrodynamic energy devices. A special microstructure provides an enhanced fracture toughness and better corrosion resistance in severe environments.

A comparison of the nuclear power plant built up with a wide usage of ceramics with other types of nuclear power plants is planned to perform involving a number of the parameters including those related to a technical and economical nature, safety, risk, etc.

Anticipated results

There will be developed microstructures of ceramics based composites satisfying the requirements for structural materials to be used in building up nuclear reactors with a temperature in the active section no less than 1200°C. Principal fabrication technologies for such materials and structural elements of the reactors will be also developed.


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