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.
- Short-range ordering
- X-ray diffraction