Corrosion Protection of Structural Materials in Liquid Lead Alloys by Pulsed Electron Beam Facility (GESA)


(A. Weisenburger, G. Müller, A. Heinzel, G. Schumacher)

Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

Institut für Hochleistungsimpuls- und Mikrowellentechnik

Postfach 3640

76021 Karlsruhe



Liquid lead alloys are intended to be used as a coolant in a so called ADS (Accelerator Driven System). The ADS consists of  a subcritical core and an accelerator delivering the protons used in a spallation target to generate the necessary neutrons. This target will also consist of lead or lead alloy.

One main problem is the enhanced corrosion of metals in these liquid lead alloys. Especially at higher temperatures stable oxide scales are vital to protect the steels. To the growth of the oxide scales can be controlled by the oxygen content in the liquid lead alloy. This can be done by controlling the cover gas composition. Stable oxide scales on steels, that are already approved for nuclear industry, can be obtained by alloying oxide formers like Al into the steel surface. The alloying procedure should not change the properties of the steel itself. An intensive pulsed electron beam (GESA) is one method which was successfully applied for this purpose. Steels treated with the GESA show a very promising behaviour in liquid lead alloys even at higher temperatures.