Reduced oxygen content of PM HIP materials for nuclear power plants
Purpose and goal
Powder metallurgy is an attractive, alternative method to manufacture large components for nuclear power plants. Yet, the method gives relatively high oxygen content for the material. However, it is possible to influence this by introducing dedicated adjustments in the manufacturing process. The aim of the project is to define methods to achieve minimum oxygen content for products weighting several metric tons.
Expected results and effects
The availability of powder technology for manufacturing large components with minimum oxygen content improves competitiveness of Swedish powder industry, even as new market opportunities can arise. In nuclear power plants, security controls will be made in a shorter time, as fewer joints are to be inspected. Shorter stand-stills facilitate increased energy production with reduced CO2 emissions. Life time of nuclear plants can be prolonged by making resource efficient replacements. Delivery time of the components will be shortened. New reactor designs can be made.
Planned approach and implementation
The project is carried out through three phases. First, a method to minimize the oxygen content of the powdered raw material will be elaborated. There after the parameters for an oxygen reduction process, conducted by a gas treatment of the powder, will be elaborated for increasingly larger powder volumes and for different alloys. Finally, the validity and repeatability of the process and achieved results (homogeneity of oxygen reductions in large volumes) will be confirmed in order to ba able to commercialize the process.