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Development of metal-carbon eutectic cells for application as high temperature reference points in nuclear reactor severe accident tests: Results on the Fe-C, Co-C, Ti-C and Ru-C alloys’ melting/freezing transformation temperature under electromagnetic induction heating
Clemente J. Parga, Christophe Journeau and Akira Tokuhiro

With the aim of reducing the high temperature measurement uncertainty of nuclear reactor severe accident experimental tests at the PLINIUS platform in Cadarache Research Centre, France, a variety of graphite cells containing a metal-carbon eutectic mix have been tested to assess the melting/freezing temperature reproducibility and their feasibility as calibration cells for thermometers. The eutectic cells have been thermally cycled in an induction furnace to assess the effect of heating/cooling rate, metal purity, graphite crucible design, and binary system constituents on the eutectic transformation temperature. A bichromatic pyrometer was used to perform temperature measurements in the graphite cell black cavity containing the metal-carbon eutectic mix. The eutectic points analyzed are all over 1100ºC and cover an almost thousand degree span, i.e. from the Fe-Fe3C to the Ru-C eutectic. The induction heating permitted the attainment of heating and cooling rates of over 200ºC/min under an inert atmosphere. The conducted tests allowed the determination of general trends and peculiarities of the solid↔liquid transformation temperature under non-equilibrium and non-steady-state conditions of a variety of eutectic alloys (Fe-C, Co-C, Ti-C and Ru-C binary systems).

Keywords: Eutectic, solidification, melting, metal, carbon, nuclear reactor severe accidents.

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