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    Thermodynamics of Zr Alloys: Application to Heterogeneous Materials

    Published: 17 June 2014

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    Thermodynamic databases are available now for zirconium alloys, and can be used to design new alloys, master microstructure, or understand phenomena occurring during the processing or the in-pile life. In the nuclear industry, several components are not constituted of one homogeneous material, but in some cases of several alloys intimately bonded (liner and duplex cladding, and mixed welds, for example), or a unique alloy but with a metallurgical state gradient (homogeneous welds). Thermodynamics computations were performed, and bring new insights to some observed features. A heterogeneous distribution of hydrogen is observed after autoclave corrosion tests or in-pile service life in duplex cladding for pressurized-water reactors (PWRs) or liner cladding for boiling-water reactors (BWRs). A heterogeneous distribution is also observed in mixed welds. Whereas the usual interpretation invokes some residual stresses at the bounding area, thermodynamic computations clearly show that the hydrogen distribution is related to a difference in the hydrogen chemical potential from one alloy to another. In the same way, uphill diffusion of iron can be observed locally at the interface between Zircaloy-2 and the Zr liner. It can be explained by the iron chemical potential difference between both alloys. Last, a miscibility gap of the Zr(Nb,Fe,Cr)2 Laves phase has been observed and computed for some compositions in ZrNbSnFeCr alloys.


    thermodynamics, chemical potential, hydrogen, iron, weld, liner, Laves phase, miscibility gap, up-hill diffusion

    Author Information:

    Barberis, P.
    AREVA/CEZUS Research Center, Ave. Paul Girod, Ugine Cedex

    Vauglin, C.
    AREVA/Fuel Design 10 rue Juliette Récamier, Lyon

    Fremiot, P.
    AREVA/CEZUS Research Center, Ave. Paul Girod, Ugine Cedex

    Guerin, P.
    AREVA/CEZUS Research Center, Ave. Paul Girod, Ugine Cedex

    Committee/Subcommittee: B10.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP154320120208