Volume 5, Issue 9 (October 2008)

    Characterization of Local Strain Distribution in Zircaloy-4 and M5® Alloys

    (Received 13 March 2007; accepted 4 August 2008)

    Published Online: 2008

    CODEN: JAIOAD

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    Abstract

    Zirconium alloys with low alloying content are mainly used in the nuclear industry as structural materials because of their superior properties in terms of neutron transparency, mechanical strength, and corrosion resistance. In order to further improve the corrosion resistance as well as the integrity of Zr based cladding tubes under severe thermomechanical loading, the M5® alloy was developed to replace stress-relieved Zircaloy-4. An experimental study conducted at the macroscopic scale between 20 and 500°C shows that the mechanical behavior of the studied Zr based alloys depends on the metallurgical state (stress-relieved or recrystallized) rather than on the chemical composition. To try to understand these mechanical differences, an experimental multiscale investigation was devised at ambient temperature (20°C) in order to characterize the strain distribution at the scale of the grains and at that of the representative volume element. Local strain fields were measured by means of a microscale digital image correlation technique, based on microgrid deposits and scanning electronic microscopy (SEM). Tensile tests were performed inside the SEM chamber. Here, the original method of strain distribution quantification based on statistical strain field analysis is used. First, this analysis reveals a particular strain distribution consisting of bands with an orientation greater that 45° with regards to the direction of macroscopic tension, and second, shows that these interaction lengths are much greater than the average size of the grains, which clearly demonstrates that local investigations cannot be limited to a few grains. Therefore, the macroscopic mechanical response of these materials is not only governed by intragranular heterogeneities but by the local deformations which become organized between the grains in a pattern of bands at a mesoscale, which is determined by medium to long-range interactions. The difference of values in the band characteristics could partly explain the anisotropic global behavior of these materials linked with their microstructure.


    Author Information:

    Elbachiri, Kamal
    Laboratoire de Mécanique des Solides, Département de Mécanique, CNRS UMR 7649, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau Cedex,

    Doumalin, Pascal
    Laboratoire de Mécanique des Solides, CNRS UMR 6610, Université de Poitiers, Futuroscope Chasseneuil Cedex,

    Crépin, Jérôme
    Laboratoire de Mécanique des Solides, Département de Mécanique, CNRS UMR 7649, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau Cedex,

    Bornert, Michel
    Laboratoire de Mécanique des Solides, Département de Mécanique, CNRS UMR 7649, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau Cedex,

    Barberis, Pierre
    AREVA-CEZUS Research Centre, Ugine Cedex,

    Rebeyrolle, Véronique
    AREVA-CEZUS Research Centre, Ugine Cedex,

    Bretheau, Thierry
    Laboratoire d’Ingénierie des Matériaux, CNRS, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Métiers, Paris,


    Stock #: JAI101125

    ISSN: 1546-962X

    DOI: 10.1520/JAI101125

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    Author
    Title Characterization of Local Strain Distribution in Zircaloy-4 and M5® Alloys
    Symposium 15th International Symposium on Zirconium in the Nuclear Industry, 2007-06-28
    Committee B10