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Instrument Description

INL is operating an Optomec LENS MR-7 Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM) system currently located at the Experimental Fuels Facility (EFF). This system utilizes an embedded 1 kW laser to sinter or create a melt pool from powdered material that is sprayed through a number of nozzles onto a build platform located inside a glovebox with an inert argon atmosphere. Simple or complex layups of varied compositions of materials can be formed into a net shape or near-net shape through the selection and control of the powder feedstock material as it is sprayed underneath the laser light. The results from this process can revolutionize the approaches to fabrication of nuclear and non-nuclear components and systems over traditional casting or subtractive machining.

Materials that can be processed by the system at EFF include those for cladding, nuclear fuels, and structural components. Ceramic, metallic, and cermet materials can be fabricated into net shapes. The geometry of the parts are created using modern computer-aided design (CAD) software and transposed to machine code to drive the mechanical motion of the build platform and substrate underneath the powder spray and laser optical assembly. 



Fabrication of cladding, nuclear fuels, and structural components from ceramic, metallic, and cermet materials.

Instrument sample preparation area; Shielded optical microscopy vacuum testing chambers testing properties gross and isotopic gamma scanning; Instron remote load frame gas measurement and analysis accident condition simulator furnace extrusion; Metallic fuel line; Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative glovebox; Glovebox advance casting system furnace; Metallic fuel line; Metallic fuel line handling; Inert-radiological gloveboxes; Uranium handling repackaging glovebox; Transuranic breakout glovebox gamma irradiator surveillance glovebox line; Cell area Quanta 3D FEG dual-beam SEM FIB JSM-7000f SEM; Gatan precision etching and coating system; Gatan precision ion polishing systems II; Gatan precision ion polishing systems JEM 2010 STEM Cameca SX100R EPMA FEI QUANTA 3D FEG Titan ChemiSTEM FEG-STEM FEI Helios dual-beam SEM-plasma FIB diffraction; Micro X-ray diffractometer Di LemmaJEOL JSM-7000f SEM coupled plasma-mass spectrometer coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometer; Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer coupled plasma-mass spectrometer advance casting system furnace; Hot uniaxial press furnace mass spectrometer; ELTRA CS-800; ELTRA ONH-2000 furnace; Differential scanning calorimeter; Simultaneous thermal analyzer; Pushrod dilatometer; Laser flash analyzer Separator Laboratories X-ray diffractometer; X-ray diffraction; Hot uniaxial press furnace Cycle Glovebox uranium casting furnace; Cathode processor molten salt electrorefiner hoods kW TRIGA Neutron Radiography Reactor additive manufacturing experiment assembly equipment kW TRIGA Neutron Radiography Reactor kW TRIGA Neutron Radiography Reactor nuclear materials glovebox