Evidence of stress-induced hydrogen ordering in zirconium hydrides

A. Steuwer, J. R. Santisteban, M. Preuss, M. J. Peel, T. Buslaps, M. Harada

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The formation of hydrides in zirconium alloys significantly affects their mechanical properties and is considered to play a critical role in their failure mechanisms, yet relatively little is known about the micromechanical behavior of hydrides in the bulk. This paper presents the result of in situ uniaxial mechanical tensioning experiments on hydrided zircaloy-2 and zircaloy-4 specimens using energy-dispersive synchrotron X-ray diffraction, which suggests that a stress-induced transformation of the δ-hydride to γ-hydride via ordering of the hydrogen atoms occurs, akin to a Snoek-type relaxation. Subsequent annealing was found to reverse the ordering phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrides
  • Short-range ordering
  • X-ray diffraction
  • Zircaloy

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