Prof. Martha Mecartney
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
University of California
Multiphase ceramics have a wide array of applications including for inert matrix nuclear fuels. The use of nanocrystalline microstructures has been proposed to optimize mechanical properties and enhance radiation damage tolerance by creating a high density of grain boundaries. This presentation will discuss how interfaces between dissimilar phases are even more effective as sinks for point defects generated during irradiation than same phase grain boundaries. For nuclear fuels where improved thermal conductivity is another goal, however, interfaces between dissimilar materials have even higher thermal resistance. Lastly, the use of flash sintering to achieve dense multiphase ceramics in seconds will be illustrated.