Preparation of compacts of high-density uranium hydride

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Material Information

Title:
Preparation of compacts of high-density uranium hydride
Series Title:
United States. Atomic Energy Commission. MDDC ;
Physical Description:
4 p. : ill., diagrams ; 27 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Perlman, M. L
Weissman, S. I
Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission
Publisher:
Technical Information Division, Oak Ridge Operations
Place of Publication:
Oak Ridge, Tenn
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Uranium   ( lcsh )
Genre:
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliography references.
Statement of Responsibility:
by M.L. Perlman and S.I. Weissman.
General Note:
"LADC-262."

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 005024398
oclc - 277229296
System ID:
AA00009310:00001


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UNITED STATES
ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION
OAK RIDGE
TENNESSEE


PREPARATION OF COMPACTS OF HIGH-DENSITY URANIUM
HYDRIDE

by

M. L. Perlman
S. I. Weissman


Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory



Published for use within the Atomic Energy Commission. Inquir-
ies for additional copies and any questions regarding reproduction
by recipients of this document may be referred to the Documents
Distribution Subsection, Publication Section, Technical Information
Branch, Atomic Energy Commission, P. O. Box E, Oak Ridge,
Tennessee.

Inasmuch as a declassified document may differ materially from
the original classified document by reason of deletions necessary
to accomplish declassification, this copy does not constitute au-
thority for declassification of classified copies of a similar docu-
ment which may bear the same title and authors.



Document Declassified: 1/27/47 *. -

This document consists of 4 pages. I


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ABSTRACT


Compacts of uranium hydride having a density of about 10 or more
have been prepared by allowing hydrogen to react with uranium metal
which is enclosed in a strong steel vessel.







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PREPARATION OF COMPACTS OF HIGH-DENSITY URANIUM
HYDRIDE


The absolute density of uranium hydride has been reported to be
11.4. However the highest overall density which has thus far been ob-
tained by compression of the powder is about 8. Uranium hydride of
higher overall density has now been prepared by enclosing a sample of
uranium metal in a steel capsule drilled with small holes for the admis-
sion of hydrogen.

The reaction temperature in these experiments was about 2000C.,
and the pressure of hydrogen was about 30 cm. The rate of reaction de-
pended on the extent to which the capsule was filled and on the form of
the uranium metal.

For the first experiment a capsule was made by drilling a 1/16"
hole along the axis of a 1" long cylinder of 3/8" diameter untempered
carbon steel. Onto the ends were screwed caps in one of which was drill-
ed a #80 hole for the admission of hydrogen. (The cavity contained a 1"
piece of approximately 1/16" diameter uranium rod.) The reaction was
followed by measurement of the hydrogen in a calibrated system. In this
case the reaction was allowed to proceed for about ten days. At the end
of that time the capsule was removed and sawed in several sections whose
diameters were measured with a Gaertner traveling microscope. The
unreacted metal remained as a small core along the length of the cavity.
The results of this experiment follow.

Original volume of cavity 0.0485 cc
Final expanded volume of cavity 0.0864
Number of gram atoms U in rod 0.00391
Number of gram atoms H absorbed 0.00938
% U reacted (on basis of UH3) 80.1
Volume of unreacted U(d=19.3) 0.0096 cc
Volume of hydride 0.0768 cc
Mass of hydride 0.753 gm
Average density of hydride 9.8 gm/cc

In an attempt to prepare hydride at higher density and in such a
way that it could be removed in sizeable chunks, a capsule of different
design was made (Fig. 1). The reaction in this vessel was slow and re-
quired about three weeks to reach 58% completion. Due to expansion of
the vessel it was possible to unscrew only one of the caps. Several meas-
urements of the diameter of the exposed hole were made. The conical







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plug was removed by sawing apart its steel container. As the three
segments were separated the pyrophoric property of the hydride termin-
ated the experiment. The density estimate is very rough since it is based
on measurements of the diameter of the cavity at only one end. However
examination of the hardened plug before and after removal from the steel
container, and after removal of the hydride showed no evidence of varia-
tion in diameter along its length. The results of this experiment follow.


Final expanded volume of cavity
Number of gram atoms U in rod
Number of gram atoms H absorbed
% U reacted
Volume of unreacted U
Vo'ume of hydride
Mass of hydride
Average density of hydride


0.0625 cc
0.00378
0.00654
57.6
0.0198 cc
0.0427 cc
0.525 gm
12.3 gm/cc


The final experiment was undertaken to achieve more rapid re-
action and to obtain a larger sample. A 9/64" hole was drilled along the
axis of a one-inch-long cylinder of 3/4 inch diameter untempered carbon
steel. Caps, each drilled with five #79 holes (no more #80 drills) for
hydrogen admission were screwed onto the ends. The cavity was packed
with 12 one-inch-long 1/32 inch square-section uranium rods and one
thin wire. The average initial density of the uranium in the entire cavity
was 13.6. About 90% reaction occurred in four and one half days. One
cap was unscrewed, the cylinder was sawed transversely in the center
and measurements of the diameters at the exposed portion made. Under
five-diameter magnification the mass appeared homogeneous. The results
follow.


Final expanded volume of cavity
Number of gram atoms U in rods
Number of gram atoms H reacted
% U reacted
Volume of unreacted U
Volume of hydride
Mass of hydride
Average density of hydride


0.336 cc
0.01455
0.0386
88.7
0.022 cc
0.314 cc
3.12 gm
9.9 gm/cc


Further work is being carried out by other members of this
project.


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