A Contribution to the Study of the Reduction of UF4 to Uranium Metal

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Argonne National Laboratory, 1961 - Furnaces - 38 pages
Reduction of small charges of uranium tetrafluoride with magnesium proved to be successful. By hand-tamping of UF4- Mg blend, tap densities ranging between3.1 and 3.4 g/cc were obtained. The reduction yields for these densities ranged from 72.79 to 93.71%. In the case of machine-compacted UF4-Mg blend having tap densities from 3.58 to 3.68 g/cc, reduction yields were higher, ranging between 91.45 and 97.2%. Machine-compacted blends gave much more uniform temperature distribution curves during the preheating period, as a result of higher tap densities. The best yields were obtained by firing a machine- compacted blend containing 5% Mg excess at a furnace temperature of 650 deg C, giving an average crude metal yield of 96.3%. However, the high carbon content of 174 ppm in the crude uranium biscuits obtained by compacts reduction, as a result of hydrocarbon binder presence, appeared to be a disadvantage. Attempts were also made to demonstrate the initiation of the reduction reaction at temperatures lower than 500 deg C by taking x-ray-diffraction patterns of the samples of the UF4-Mg charges heated up to various temperatures.

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