Influence de la microstructure de la thorine yttriée sur sa tenue au sodium, en vue de réaliser des sondes à oxygène dans les réacteurs au sodium de IVème Génération.

Abstract : In the field of the development of a fourth generation nuclear reactor demonstrator, ASTRID (Advanced Sodium Fast Reactor for Industrial Demonstration), an electrochemical sensor, allowing accurate and specific measurement of dissolved oxygen in liquid sodium, is currently under development. One critical point of this device is the solid electrolyte, such as yttrium-doped thoria. Several properties of the solid electrolyte such as ionic conductivity and resistance to sodium corrosion were analyzed as a function of microstructure, in order to optimize the conditions of elaboration.First, sintered Th1-xYxO2-x/2 (0,01 ≤ x ≥ 0,22) ceramics showing various microstructures were prepared. In this aim, the starting oxalate precursors as well as the final oxides obtained after conversion were thoroughly characterized from structural, microstructural and chemical points of view. Furthermore, densification of the oxide samples was investigated to build sintering maps (average grain size vs. relative density). They further led to determine the optimal sintering conditions required to address the specifications of the electrolyte ceramic. In addition, electric properties of the ceramics were characterized by impedance spectroscopy. The results obtained showed the existence of a maximum of conductivity between 8 and 15 mol.% of yttrium incorporation rate.Thus, the compatibility of the ceramic with liquid sodium was undertaken at 500°C during several hundred hours. For experimental conditions considered, no sign of corrosion was evidenced at the surface of the samples while fracture of the pellets showed two different habits (trans- and intergranular) indicating a penetration of sodium through the grain boundaries. Post-mortem electric characterization revealed significant variation of the conductivity, especially concerning grain boundary contributions.Finally, similar experiments were developed on samples incorporating impurities on purpose (Al, Zr and Si up to 1 mass.%). While the incorporation of such impurities only causes slight microstructural change, a significant deleterious role on the resistance to liquid sodium was noted for silicium and high zirconium contents (1 mass.%).
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Yanis Hacene Cherkaski. Influence de la microstructure de la thorine yttriée sur sa tenue au sodium, en vue de réaliser des sondes à oxygène dans les réacteurs au sodium de IVème Génération.. Autre. Université Montpellier, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018MONTS126⟩. ⟨tel-02281827⟩

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