Multilayer (TiN, TiAlN) ceramic coatings for nuclear fuel cladding

Ece Alat, Arthur T. Motta, Robert J. Comstock, Jonna M. Partezana, Douglas E. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


In an attempt to develop an accident-tolerant fuel (ATF) that can delay the deleterious consequences of loss-of-coolant-accidents (LOCA), multilayer coatings were deposited onto ZIRLO® coupon substrates by cathodic arc physical vapor deposition (CA-PVD). Coatings were composed of alternating TiN (top) and Ti1-xAlxN (2-layer, 4-layer, 8-layer and 16-layer) layers. The minimum TiN top coating thickness and coating architecture were optimized for good corrosion and oxidation resistance. Corrosion tests were performed in static pure water at 360 °C and 18.7 MPa for up to 90 days. The optimized coatings showed no spallation/delamination and had a maximum of 6 mg/dm2 weight gain, which is 6 times smaller than that of a control sample of uncoated ZIRLO® which showed a weight gain of 40.2 mg/dm2. The optimized architecture features a ∼1 μm TiN top layer to prevent boehmite phase formation during corrosion and a TiN/TiAlN 8-layer architecture which provides the best corrosion performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-244
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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