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The importance of the amount/thickness of die wall lubricant for UO$_2$ pellets pressing

Abstract : External lubrication is often used to complete compaction process of powder materials. The main goal of this method is generally to reduce the amount of admixed internal lubricant (Zinc stearate powder) within the raw material. The application of external lubricants enhances the density uniformity and the mechanical strength of the resulting compacts. This study investigates the effects of the external lubricant amount for UO$_2$ powder compaction and the properties of the corresponding green pellets (corresponding to the compacts before sintering) without any admixed lubricant in the raw powder in order to evaluate the feasibility of this route in the case of nuclear powder. Results show that there is a quantity or number of layers from which the external lubricant applied on the die wall becomes detrimental to the friction index and the ejection force measured during the pressing cycle. The quality (surface defects, mechanical strength) of the green pellets can also be affected by the amount of lubricant. Thus the quantity and the thickness of the die wall lubricant must be optimized in order to assure an efficient mixed lubrication mode corresponding to the better lubrication mode in our study case.
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Ousseïni Marou Alzouma, Franck Marion, Anne-Charlotte Robisson. The importance of the amount/thickness of die wall lubricant for UO$_2$ pellets pressing. Ceramics International, Elsevier, 2018, 44 (11), pp.12073-12080. ⟨10.1016/j.ceramint.2018.03.224⟩. ⟨cea-02519398⟩

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