Study of the influence of temperature and time on the electroplating nickel layer in inconel 718 strips used in spacer grid of pressurized water cooled nuclear reactors (PWR)

Abstract:

The Inconel 718 (UNS N07718: Ni-19Cr-18Fe-5Nb-3 Mo) is a precipitation hardenable nickel alloy that has good corrosion resistance and high mechanical strength. These strips are used for assembling the spacer grid of fuel element of pressurized water cooled nuclear reactors (PWR). The spacer grid is a structural component of fundamental importance in fuel elements of PWR reactors, maintaining the position and necessary spacing of the fuel rods within the arrangement of the fuel element. The spacer grid is formed by joining the points of intersection of the strips, by a joint process called brazing. For this process, these strips are stamped and plated with a thin layer of nickel by means of electroplating in order to protect against oxidation and allow a better flowability and wettability of the addition metal in the strips during brazing. Oxidation at the surface of the base material harms wettability and inhibits spreading of the liquid addition metal on the substrate surface during the brazing process. The use of coatings such as nickel plating is used to ensure such conditions. The results showed that there is a process of diffusion de some chemical elements such as chromium, iron, titanium and aluminum from the substrate to the nickel layer and nickel from the layer to the substrate. These chemical elements are responsible for the oxidation at the surface of the strip.


Reference:
REZENDE, Renato; ABATI, Amanda; VERNE, Júlio; PANOSSIAN, Zehbour. Study of the influence of temperature and time on the electroplating nickel layer in Inconel 718 strips used in spacer grid of pressurized water cooled nuclear reactors (PWR). In: INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR ATLANTIC CONFERENCE – INAC, 8th, 2017, Belo Horizonte. Proceedings… 10p.

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