Thermophysical properties of lead and lead–bismuth eutectic

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Among different heavy liquid metals, lead (Pb) and lead–bismuth eutectic (Pb–Bi) are considered at present as the potential candidates for the liquid spallation targets of neutron sources and accelerated driven systems and for the coolant of new generation fast reactors due to their very good neutron and thermal features. Up to now, the published data on the properties of the lead alloys of interest are still limited and significant discrepancies exist between the values given by different sources. This work is a critical review of old and new data reported in the open literature on the main thermo-physical properties of the molten Pb and Pb–Bi: characteristic temperatures, latent heats of melting and evaporation, surface tension, density, heat capacity, viscosity, electric and thermal conductivity. In general, the reliability of data is satisfactory, however, a large uncertainty still exists in the saturation vapour pressure, sound velocity, heat capacity and thermal conductivity. The critical parameters of Pb and Pb–Bi are not well defined yet, and this hinder the development of the equations of state for these coolants. The correlations developed on the basis of the fundamental physical models and the ‘best fit’ approach are proposed for engineering estimations and design calculations.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-247
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2007
EventE-MRS 2006 Spring Meeting "Nuclear Materials and Materials for Fusion" - European Material Research Society, Nice, France
Duration: 29 May 20062 Jun 2006


  • heavy liquid metals, lead, lead-bismuth eutectic, thermal properties

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