» R & D » Material Sciences & Engineering

Thrust areas include

Processing of primary and secondary resources for the recovery of minerals and metals of strategic nature

Mechanics of metal processing, deformation and hot workability- zirconium, cobalt and refractory alloys and evaluation of fracture toughness of nuclear structural components

Microstructural and mechanical properties corelation
Amorphous and Nanomaterials
Surface engineering
Advanced ceramics and glasses
Materials for fuel cells
Equilibrium phase diagrams
Phase transformation studies
Modeling and simulation
Beam processing of materials
Advanced techniques for joining of materials
Corrosion and compatibility studies
Energy conversion materials, U and its alloys, beryllium rare earths extraction and processing
Materials related activities for the Test Blanket Module under the ITER programme

Materials Science and Engineering plays an important role in all aspects of technological development and in the success of any programme incorporating advanced technology. Materials research in BARC is carried out in frontier areas with quest for hi-tech materials and innovative technologies blending thermodynamics, mechanics, modeling and simulation with experimental characterisation of materials, to meet the desired objective of development of materials for nuclear and other advanced technological applications.

Major activities involve: establishing technoeconomic process flowsheets for the recovery of minerals and metals of interest to atomic energy program from conventional and non-conventional resources; process engineering and scale-up studies on uranium recovery from various ores in technology demonstration pilot-plant; research and development of zirconium-and niobium-based alloys and other advanced alloys such as shape memory alloys, superalloys etc., with a focus to develop components for the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor and other advanced reactors and applications.

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450kg Uranium Ingot produced by Magnesiothermy

450kg Uranium Ingot produced by Magnesiothermy

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High resolution image of the beta phase in the Zr-1Nb alloy

High resolution image of the beta phase in the Zr-1Nb alloy

The prominent R & D activities include: characterisation of alloys, their selection and design, preparation, processing, shaping and fabrication of components and devices for actual commercial applications; development of new and improved mechanical tests and modeling mechanical properties and performance of nuclear structural materials under environmental conditions that are experienced both in processing and in service and structure-property correlation. Ageing management and establishment of corrosion behavior of materials used in the existing nuclear power plants and also for future generation reactors in simulated operating conditions by way of accelerated tests, is another important area of study.

Other major highlights include: development of technology for the synthesis and preparation of enriched boron carbide pellets for control rod applications; fission type neutron sensors with enriched uranium coatings; neutron absorption based neutron sensors with boron carbide coating and liquid metal technology for electromagnetic pump driven loop.


Electron Microscopy image of TRISO coated particles for the CHTR