The redistribution of oxygen and uranium metal at the vicinity of the metal-oxide interface of native and grown oxides due to vacuum thermal annealing was studied for uranium and uranium-chromium alloy using Auger depth profiling and metallographic techniques. It was found that uranium metal is segregating out through the uranium oxide layer for annealing temperatures above 450°C. At the same time the oxide is redistributed in the metal below the oxide-metal interface in a diffusion like process. By applying a diffusion equation of a finite source, the diffusion coefficients for the process were obtained from the oxygen depth profiles measured for different annealing times. An Arrhenius like behavior was found for the diffusion coefficient between 400 and 800°C. The activation energy obtained was Ea = 15.4 ± 1.9 kcal/mole and the pre-exponential factor, D0 = 1.1 × 10-8cm2/s. An internal oxidation mechanism is proposed to explain the results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- General Materials Science
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering