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University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Las Vegas (Nev.)

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The Lead-Bismuth eutectic (LBE) has been determined from previous experimental studies by the Russians and the European scientific community to be a potential material that can be used as a spallation target and coolant for the TRP proposed application. Properly controlling the oxygen content in LBE can drastically reduce the LBE corrosion to structural steels. However, existing knowledge of material corrosion performance was obtained from point-wise testing with only very sparse experimental data. Scientists have noticed that the concentration of oxygen dissolved in the liquid alloy could control the corrosion rate of steels exposed to Pb or Pb-Bi. At high oxygen concentration, an oxide layer could be formed on the steel surface (lead oxides are less stable than iron oxide), which protects it from corrosion. At low oxygen concentration, there is no oxidation and corrosion occurs by dissolution of the steel components in the liquid metal. The surface of the oxide layer in contact with the bulk flow of liquid metal may also be eroded under a high fluid velocity. Then the surface of the metal will no longer be protected because a porous oxide layer will be formed.

The first subtask of this project involves using a CFD code (3-D simulation) such as STAR-CD to obtain averaged values of stream wise velocity, temperature, oxygen and corrosion product concentrations at a location deemed close to the walls of the LBE loop at more than one axial location along it. The oxygen and corrosion product inside the test loop will be simulated to participate in chemical reactions with the eutectic fluid as it diffuses through towards the walls. Details of the geometry of these loops will be obtained from scientists at LANL. These values will act as a set of starting boundary conditions to the second task.

The second subtask and the more important objective of this project is to use the information supplied by the first task as boundary conditions for the kinetic modeling of the corrosion process at the internal walls of the test loop. The outcome of the modeling will be fed back to the first subtask, and the steady state corrosion/precipitation in an oxygen controlled LBE system will be investigated through iterations. The information is hoped to shed some light on the likely locations for corrosion and precipitation along the axial length of parts of the test loop.


Chemical kinetics; Cavitation erosion; Computational fluid dynamics; Corrosion and anti-corrosives; Eutectic alloys; Hydrodynamics; Lead-bismuth alloys; Lead-bismuth eutectic; Metals — Oxidation; Oxygen; Steel — Corrosion

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Chemical kinetics; Computational fluid dynamics; Steel--Corrosion


Materials Chemistry | Materials Science and Engineering | Metallurgy | Nuclear Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy

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