Effect of decades of corrosion on the microstructure of altered glasses and their radiation stability
npj Materials Degradation
Understanding the microstructural evolution of glasses during their interaction with water and radiation is of fundamental importance in addressing the corrosion of nuclear waste forms under geological disposal conditions. Here we report the results of more than 21 years of corrosion of two borosilicate glasses showing the formation of mesoporous C-S-H gels in Ca-bearing glasses and a mainly microporous microstructure in Al-bearing glasses. These porous corroded glasses were then irradiated
... then irradiated with heavy ions to simulate the effects of recoil nucleus damage and monitored in real time using transmission electron microscopy with in situ ion irradiation. The ballistic collisions remarkably healed the porous corroded glasses to a pore-free homogeneous microstructure. Besides providing new insights and predictions about how doped glasses and actual waste forms may evolve under corrosion and irradiation, the results highlight the non-universal nature of the existing corrosion models and the important role that the glass composition and radiation damage play in the evolution of the microstructure during corrosion. npj Materials Degradation (2020) 4:11 ; https://doi.