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 Andren, D Jädernäs, Pia Teiland, Javier Romero, Edward C. Darby, Simon Dumbill, Lars Hallstadius, Michael Preuss

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While the evolution of irradiation-induced dislocation loops is 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 of Fe on loop formation, state-of-the-art techniques have been used to study a proton-irradiated Zr-0.1Fe alloy and proton- and neutronirradiated Zircaloy-2. The two alloys have been irradiated with 2 MeV protons up to 7 dpa at 350 °C and Zircaloy-2 up to 14.7 x1025 n m-2, ~24 dpa, in a BWR at ~300 °C. Baseline TEM characterisation showed that the Zr3Fe secondary phase particles in the binary system are larger and fewer in number than the Zr(Fe, Cr)2 and Zr2(Fe, Ni) particles in Zircaloy-2. Analysis of the irradiated binary alloy revealed only limited dissolution of Ze3Fe suggesting little dispersion of Fe into the matrix while at the same time a higher a-loop density is observed in comparison to that in Zircaloy-2 at equivalent proton dose levels. It was also found that the redistribution of Fe during irradiation leads to the formation of Fe nanoclusters. A delay in the onset of c-loop nucleation in proton-irradiated Zircaloy-2 compared to the binary alloy was observed. The effect of Fe redistributed from secondary phase particles, due to dissolution, on the density and morphology of a- and c-loops is described. The implication this may have on irradiation-induced growth of Zr fuel cladding is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASTM International: Zirconium in the Nuclear Industry 18th Symposium
PublisherASTM International
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2018

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  • Dalton Nuclear Institute


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