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Copyright 2001-2002,

Last Update:
March 25, 2004

Corrosion Modeling
Dr. Yitung Chen , Chao Wu

Modeling Corrosion in Oxygen Controlled LBE Systems with Coupling of Chemical Kinetics and Hydrodynamics Corrosion is one of the greatest concerns in using liquid Lead-Bismuth Eutectic (LBE) as spallation target in the Accelerator-driven Transmutation of Waste (ATW) program. Los Alamos National Laboratory has designed and built a Liquid Lead-Bismuth Materials Test Loop (MTL) to study materials behavior in a flow of molten LBE. A difference of 100oC was designed between the coldest and the hottest parts at a nominal flow rate of 8.84GPM. Liquid LBE flow was activated by a mechanical sump pump or by natural convection. In order to maintain a self-healing protective film on the surface of the stainless steel pipe, a fixed concentration of oxygen has to be maintained in the liquid metal. Therefore, it is of importance to understand what the oxygen concentrations are in the LBE loop related to the corrosion effects on the metal surface, the temperature profiles, the flow rates, and diffusion rates through the metal surface. The chemical kinetics also needs to be fully understood in the corrosion processes, coupled with the hydrodynamics. The numerical simulation will be developed and used to analyze system corrosion effects with different kind of oxygen concentrations, flow rates, chemical kinetics, and geometries. The fluid flow and mass transfer near the metal surface will be calculated based on boundary layer information. The hydrodynamics modeling of using computational fluid dynamics will provide the necessary levels of oxygen and corrosion products close to the boundary or surface. The kinetics in the corrosion process between the LBE and structural materials will be incorporated from pertinent information of hydrodynamics modeling. The outcomes of the chemical kinetic modeling will also be fed back to the hydrodynamics modeling. These approaches result in a predictive tool that can be validated with corrosion test data, used to systematically design tests and interpret the result, and provided guidance for optimization in LBE system design.


Sponsor: Advanced Accelerator Application/University Particpation Program
Collaborator: Los Alamos National Laboratory


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Nevada Center for Advanced Computational Methods