Cladding

Cladding

[klad-ing]
Cladding is the covering of one material with another. It has different meanings depending on the context.

Metal

In metallurgy, cladding is the bonding together of dissimilar metals. It is distinct from welding or gluing as a method to fasten the metals together. Cladding is often achieved by extruding two metals through a die or pressing sheets together under high pressure.

The United States Mint uses cladding to manufacture coins from different metals. This allows a cheaper metal to be used as a filler.

Optical fiber

Regarding optical fiber in telecommunication, cladding is one or more layers of material of lower refractive index, in intimate contact with a core material of higher refractive index. (Source: from Federal Standard 1037C and from MIL-STD-188)

Building construction

In building construction, cladding may refer to the application of one material over another to provide a skin or layer intended to control the infiltration of weather elements, or for aesthetic purposes. Cladding does not necessarily have to provide a water-proof condition but is instead a control element. This control element may only serve to safely direct water or wind in order to control run-off and prevent infiltration into the building structure. Cladding applied to windows is often referred to as window capping and is a very specialized field.

Nuclear reactor fuel

In nuclear reactors, cladding is the outer layer of the fuel rods, standing between the coolant and the nuclear fuel. It is made of a corrosion-resistant material with low absorption cross section for thermal neutrons, usually Zircaloy or steel in modern constructions, or magnesium oxide with small amount of aluminium and other metals for the now-obsolete Magnox reactors. Cladding prevents radioactive fission fragments from escaping the fuel into the coolant and thereby from contaminating it.

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References

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