The effect of iron on dislocation evolution in model and commercial zirconium alloys

Matthew Topping, Allan Harte, Philipp Frankel, Christopher Race, Gustav Sundell, Mattias Thuvander, Hans Olof Andrén, Daniel Jadernas, Pia Tejland, Javier E. Romero, Edward C. Darby, Simon Dumbill, Lars Hallstadius, Michael Preuss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

12 Citations (Scopus)


Although the evolution of irradiation-induced dislocation loops has been well correlated with irradiation-induced growth phenomena, the effect of alloying elements on this evolution remains elusive, especially at low fluences. To develop a more mechanistic understanding of the role iron has on loop formation, we used state-of-the-art techniques to study a proton-irradiated Zr-0.1Fe alloy and proton- and neutron-irradiated Zircaloy-2. The two alloys were irradiated with 2-MeV protons up to 7 dpa at 350°C and Zircaloy-2 up to 14.7 × 1025 n • m-2, approximately 24 dpa, in a boiling water reactor at approximately 300°C. Baseline transmission electron microscopy showed that the Zr3Fe secondary-phase particles in the binary system were larger and fewer in number than the Zr (Fe, Cr)2 and Zr2(Fe, Ni) particles in Zircaloy-2. An analysis of the irradiated binary alloy revealed only limited dissolution of Ze3Fe, suggesting little dispersion of iron into the matrix, while at the same time a higher 〈a〉-loop density was observed compared with Zircaloy-2 at equivalent proton dose levels. We also found that the redistribution of iron during irradiation led to the formation of iron nanoclusters. A delay in the onset of 〈c〉-loop nucleation in proton-irradiated Zircaloy-2 compared with the binary alloy was observed. The effect of iron redistributed from secondary-phase particles because of dissolution on the density and morphology of 〈a〉 and 〈c〉 loops is described. The implication this may have on irradiation-induced growth of zirconium fuel cladding is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZirconium in the Nuclear Industry
Subtitle of host publication18th International Symposium
EditorsRobert J. Comstock, Arthur T. Motta
PublisherASTM International
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9780803176416
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Symposium on Zirconium in the Nuclear Industry 2016 - Hilton Head, United States of America
Duration: 15 May 201619 May 2016
Conference number: 18th

Publication series

NameASTM Special Technical Publication
VolumeSTP 1597
ISSN (Print)0066-0558


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Zirconium in the Nuclear Industry 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityHilton Head
Internet address


  • BWR
  • Dislocation analysis
  • Iron
  • Irradiation growth
  • Precipitation
  • Proton irradiation
  • Zircaloy-2
  • Zirconium

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