Residual stresses and tetragonal phase fraction characterisation of corrosion tested Zircaloy-4 using energy dispersive synchrotron X-ray diffraction

E. Polatidis, P. Frankel, J. Wei, M. Klaus, R. J. Comstock, A. Ambard, S. Lyon, R. A. Cottis, M. Preuss

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To improve the understanding of the oxidation mechanism in zirconium alloys for fuel clad applications, detailed residual stress and phase fraction analysis was carried out for the oxides formed on Zircaloy-4 after autoclave exposure at 360 °C for various times by means of synchrotron X-ray diffraction. In a post-transition sample (220 days), significant stress variation through the oxide thickness was found for the monoclinic phase in individual oxide layers, with maximum in-plane compressive stresses located towards the metal-oxide interface and a discontinuity in the residual stress profile. The depth of this discontinuity matched well with the depth at which electron microscopy analysis showed an interface between two distinct oxide layers. Analysis of the tetragonal phase with exposure time demonstrated changes of the total volume of tetragonal phase before and during transition. These observations are put into the context of residual stress evolution presented previously, to provide further insight into the importance of phase transformations and residual stresses in determining the corrosion kinetics of Zr alloys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-112
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

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