An internationally recognized best practice for disposing used nuclear fuels is to store them in specially designed containers in deep geological repositories. One type of spent fuel container is a carbon steel canister with a cold-sprayed copper coating. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of various factors on the ductility of this protective copper layer. The current investigation finds that there can be significant variability in ductility when feedstock powder size and chemical composition are changed while keeping spraying and heat treatment conditions constant. Test results show that the ductility of nitrogen-sprayed copper decreases with increasing hardness, but can be improved by raising annealing temperature from 300 to 600 °C. The effects of substrate geometry and process variations are discussed as well.

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