STP681: A Survey of the Chemical Environments for Activity in the Embrittlement of Zircaloy-2

    Grubb, WT
    Research chemists, General Electric Corporate Research and Development, Schenectady, N.Y.

    Morgan, MH
    Research chemists, General Electric Corporate Research and Development, Schenectady, N.Y.

    Pages: 10    Published: Jan 1979


    Abstract

    Thirty-five chemical elements and some of their compounds were tested for activity in the embrittlement of Zircaloy-2 at 573°K using constant extension rate tension tests. Besides iodine, which embrittles by stress corrosion cracking (SCC), five metals caused liquid metal embrittlement when dissolved in cesium. These were cadmium, zinc, yttrium, calcium, and strontium. The effect of cadmium was by far the most severe. Selenium and tellurium did not embrittle Zircaloy-2 by SCC. Of the embrittling metals, only cadmium is considered a likely contributor to the PCI (pellet-clad interaction) failure mechanism. The reasons for this conclusion are discussed.

    Keywords:

    liquid metal embrittlement (LME), stress corrosion cracking (SCC), iodine, cadmium, yttrium, zinc, strontium, calcium, pellet-clad interaction (PCI), nuclear fuel rod, Zircaloy, zirconium


    Paper ID: STP36677S

    Committee/Subcommittee: B10.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP36677S


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