Material Technology Unit

Currently, R&D activities in Material Technology Unit are focused on UO2, ThO2 and (Th,U)O2 powders and pellets manufacturing and characterization. All the studies are on laboratory scale. Related powders are fabricated conventionally through powder metallurgical route. Nowadays, the technical staff of the unit are working on solution based routes such as internal gelation process. The sol-gel process involves the gelation of droplets of sol or  solution by hydrolysis resulting into condensation and polymerization of the desired fuel material into gel micro spheres which are converted either to high density micro spheres by sintering for sphere-pac process or after further processing converted to soft micro spheres  which are then pressed and sintered to high density pellets using sol-gel micro sphere pelletization process. The technical staff  have joined to the workshop organized by IAEA on “Preparation and Characterization of UO2- and ThO2 based Powders, Sol-Gel Microspheres and Sintered Pellets” held on 2008 at ÇNAEM . During the workshop it was decided to perform two experiments by using internal gelation process to produce UO2 and ThO2 microspheres. The equipment was set-up and simultaneously the chemicals were prepared in the laboratory of ÇNAEM.   UO2 microspheres were obtained successfully during the workshop with guidance of competent experts. Studies are still continuing on the subject.

Main activities of Material Technology Unit:

UO2& ThO2 Powder Characterization

  • Particle Size Distribution
  • Surface Area Measurement (BET Method)
  • Flowability
  • Bulk Density
  • O/U Ratio Determination (Thermogravimetric Method)
  • Morphology of the powders (SEM)
  • Characterizing the atomic structure of the powders   by X-Ray Difftactometer

Green Pellet Characterization

  • Pellets Visual Inspection, Weighing, Geometrical Dimension Measurement, Determination of Green Pellet Density

Inspection of Sintered Pellets

  • Diameter (Micrometer)
  • Weighing ( Digital Balance)
  • Density ( Geometric, Immersion in Xylene)
  • Surface Imperfections  (Visual and Ultrasonic)
  • Impurities (Chemical Analysis: ICP-MS)
  • O/U Ratio ( Thermogravimetry)
  • Microstructure (Ceramography, SEM)
  • Investigation of Solid Solution Fomation of mixed oxide pellets by XRD


Powder grain size distribution analyser Dilatometry   Scanning electron microscope
Titrator High Temperature Sintering Furnace   Hellium Picnometry
Metallographic Microscope Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometer   BET Surface Area analyser


 X-Ray Diffractometry Hydrolic Press