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Home   /   Thesis   /   Additive manufacturing for nuclear fuel innovation

Additive manufacturing for nuclear fuel innovation

Additive manufacturing, new routes for saving materials Engineering sciences Materials and applications Technological challenges


The context:
Additive manufacturing or otherwise called 3D printing is gradually becoming a method of realization revolutionizing the traditional principles of design. These technologies, which are already growing rapidly in the industrial world, are now being evaluated for the development of innovative nuclear fuels. The development of new reactors, the search for improving the performance of the current nuclear fleet is fertile ground for the emergence of new concepts often impossible to manufacture by the standard technique of powder metallurgy.
The Uranium Fuels Laboratory (LCU) whose mission is the study of fuel manufacturing processes is engaged in an evaluation process of an additive manufacturing technology called robocasting" or micro-castingextrusion oriented towards the realization of CERMET materials based on UO2. During previous work, promising preliminary tests were carried out on non-radioactive materials and a dedicated workshop was set up.

The objectives:
The proposed subject is to continue the study on UO2 material using these new means. A wide field of investigation opens up for the optimization of techniques and the understanding of the physics of the phenomena involved.
The thesis work will focus on the use of experimental research strategy tools (experimental designs) as well as the modeling of the printing process to lead to the optimization of manufactured objects.
These optimization studies will concern both the formulation but also all the parameters of the printing machine. The work will be continued until the characterizations of the objects and the demonstration of their performances.

Potential external collaboration:
The doctoral student will be able to rely on the skills and expertise of different CEA laboratories involved in the project as well as an academic collaborative framework (IRCER Limoges). This collaboration with the IRCER has already been the subject of a previous contract. It should present a marked taste for the experimental approach and some facilities for the use of digital tools. Knowledge of materials science is the minimum required.
As part of the collaboration between IRCER (Limoges) and CEA (Institut IRESNE, Cadarache), travel will be required to benefit from the equipment and know-how specific to the two laboratories.
This work will enable students to develop their skills in the fields of multiphysics modelling and the application of 3D printing technologie

1-Chartier, Pateloup et al, Techniques de l'Ingénieur (2018). https://unilim.hal.science/hal-02125522/
2-Bourret, Pateloup et al, J.Eur. Cer. Soc. 38 (2018) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2018.02.018


Département d’Etudes des Combustibles
Service d’Analyses, d’Elaboration, d’Expérimentations et d’Examens des Combustibles
Laboratoire des Combustibles Uranium
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