Microwave sintering of 8 mol% yttria-zirconia (8YZ): An inert matrix material for nuclear fuel applications

R. R. Thridandapani, C. E. Folgar, D. C. Folz, D. E. Clark, K. Wheeler, Pedro Peralta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This study focused on reducing overall processing time and temperature for fully stabilized zirconia, an inert matrix material candidate, to minimize the loss of actinides (that will be incorporated into the matrix material), while maintaining at least 90% theoretical density (TD). The effects of different processing routes on bulk density and microstructure were evaluated. The results obtained by adopting microwave sintering for 8 mol% Y2O3-ZrO2 were compared to conventional sintering. A 20 min soak time at 1300 °C resulted in pellets with 90% TD for microwave-processed samples, compared to 77% TD for pellets processed conventionally. A similar density was obtained at lower temperature (1200 °C) by increasing the soak time to 100 min in microwave processing. This time and temperature resulted in 60% TD conventionally processed pellets. Compressive strength values obtained for a 1300 °C (20 min soak time) microwave-processed sample were higher (1600 MPa) as compared to a conventionally processed sample (1300 MPa).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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