Developing and Characterizing New Tools for Actinide Processing Science

Jason Jeffries | 18-SI-001

Project Overview

Advanced manufacturing concepts offer a tantalizing avenue to simultaneously modernize actinide production tools and provide unprecedented insight into process-structure-property-performance relationships for actinide alloys. Applying new, advanced manufacturing processes to actinides is not trivial as these materials are fraught with many technical challenges ranging from reactivity to feedstock microstructure.

This research project advanced the state-of-the-art in advanced manufacturing with actinides, and it established key process–structure–property relationships with these new tools. We explored new ways of making metal components beyond traditional manufacturing, as well as commercial, off-the-shelf additive manufacturing techniques.

The research advanced concepts and established the technical basis of experimental equipment and modeling capabilities in these areas. High-temperature actinide synthesis is novel and central to the project. In addition, we established a new, air-free synthetic chemistry capability, and a new, single-crystal x-ray diffractometer was commissioned for radioactive materials.

Mission Impact

This project supports Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's core competency in advanced materials and manufacturing, including our expertise in actinide science. The project established critical technical infrastructure and modeling capabilities required for continued research and development in actinide science. 

Publications, Presentations, and Patents

Ashby, A., et al. 2019. "Simulating Droplet Break-Up in Liquid Metal Printing Processes." Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin, TX, August 2019. LLNL-PRES-785480

Boado, E., et al. 2019. "Additive Manufacturing for Technical Ceramics." Nuclear Science and Security Consortium Annual Workshop, Livermore, CA, October 2019. LLNL-POST-791960

Childs, B. C., et al. 2019a. "Alternative Pathways to Produce Actinide Metals." Actinide Separations Conference, Kingsport, TN, May 2019. LLNL-PRES-775046

——— 2019b. "Formation of Nitride and Carbide Compounds via Selective Laser Melting." Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin, TX, August 2019. LLNL-PRES-787277

——— 2020. "Formation of High Purity Uranium via Laser Induced Thermal Decomposition of Uranium Nitride." Cross JOWOG, Livermore, CA, January 2020. LLNL-POST-802180

Elton, E. S., et al. 2019. "Large Effect of Surface Oxide on Measurement of Liquid Metal Viscosity," 30th Annual Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin, TX, August 2019. LLNL-PRES-785017

——— 2020a. "Droplet On-Demand Printing of Copper." 5th Cross JOWOG Meeting, Livermore, CA, January 2020. LLNL-POST-801539

——— 2020b. "Dramatic Effect of Oxide on Measured Liquid Metal Rheology. Journal of Rheology 64:119.doi:10.1122/1.5117144. LLNL-JRNL-779359

Heo, T. W. 2019. "Mesoscale Modeling of Metal–Hydrogen Interactions." 4th International Symposium on Phase-Field Modelling in Materials Science (PF19), Bochum, Germany, 2019. LLNL-PRES-781763

Heo, T. W., et al. 2019. "A Phase-Field Model for Hydride Formation in Polycrystalline Metals: Application to d-Hydride in Zirconium." Acta Materialia 181:262–270. doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2019.09.047. LLNL-JRNL-774087

Holliday, K., et al. 2019a. "Uranium Reduction to Metal by Chemical Decomposition at Extreme Conditions." Actinide Separations Conference, Charleston, SC, May 2018. LLNL-PRES-751647

——— 2019b. "Kinetic and Thermodynamic Study of Ti Hydriding." JOWOG Annual Meeting, Atomic Weapons Establishment, England, July 2018. LLNL-PRES-754618

Idell, Y. S., et al. 2019a. "Microstructural Characterization of Pure Tin Produced by the Drop-On-Demand Technique of Liquid Metal Jetting." Materials & Transactions (50A), 4000–4005. doi:10.1007/s11661-019-05357-z. LLNL-JRNL-768921

——— 2019b. "Reduction of Uranium Triiodide to Metal by Thermal Decomposition." Journal of Radioanalytical Nuclear Chemistry 320: 793–800. doi:10.1007/s10967-019-06541-6. LLNL-JRNL-754852

Martin, A., et al. 2020. "A Small Scale Laser Powder Bed Fusion System for Rapid Alloy Development." Proceedings of the 31st Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin, TX, 2020. LLNL-ABS-808490

Soderlind, P. 2020a."Electronic-Structure Theory for Actinide Metals." International Workshop on Theory Frontiers in Actinide Sciences: Chemistry and Materials, Santa Fe, NM, February 2020. LLNL-PRES-804047

——— 2020b. "Thermodynamics of Uranium Tri-Iodide from Density-Functional Theory." Applied Science 10, 3914 (2020). LLNL-JRNL-809081

Soderlind, P., et al. 2019. "Ground-State and Thermodynamical Properties of Uranium Mononitride from Anharmonic First-Principles Theory." Applied Science 9:3914. doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.14958.77122. LLNL-JRNL-787823

Watkins, N., et al. 2019. "A Versatile, Multi-Mode Liquid Metal Printing Platform for Microstructural Studies." Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin, TX, August 2019. LLNL-PRES-785161

——— 2020. "Effects of Substrate Movement and Atmosphere on Liquid Tin Metal Jetting Builds," 5th Cross JOWOG Meeting, Livermore, CA, January 2020. LLNL-POST-801558