Niobium, tantalum, yttrium, and Inconel have been used to contain molten aluminum, lead, tin, zinc, and several of their respective uranium and thorium alloys for various times up to 3000 hours and at temperatures ranging from 600 to 1100° C. Altogether 76 capsule tests were run, almost all in a static isothermal condition. Tantalum showed the best resistance followed by niobium, Inconel, and yttrium respectively. The systems, lead in tantalum and lead in niobium, showed the greatest potentials for possible liquid-metal fuel carrier systems. An alloy of uranium-bismuth-tin contained in tantalum also exhibited promising possibilities . The tabulated test data include a classification of the type of corrosion attack which occurred and a measured value of the amount of corrosive penetration. Each test was also given an arbitrary rating for easy reference comparisons. A number of photomicrographs are included for each set of tests.
Cash, Robert James; Fisher, Ray M.; and Core, Merl R., "Compatibility studies of several molten uranium and thorium alloys in niobium, tantalum, and yttrium" (1964). Ames Laboratory Technical Reports. 60.