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An analysis is given of the effects of anisotropic thermal expansion coefficients and elastic constants on radiation-induced void formation in zirconium and other hexagonal metals. Upper bound values of thermal stress in polycrystalline metals are estimated. A cyclic temperature fluctuation at high irradiation temperature causes changes in internal stresses that suppress nucleation and growth of voids as a result of the enhanced recombination of point defects at grain boundaries and also retard void growth due to the induced self stress field. Such effects are more pronounced in highly anisotropic zirconium than in magnesium. Effects of hydrostatic pressure on void formation are also investigated. Other metallurgical variables for void formation are discussed, and an experiment to test the current concept is suggested.
voids, irradiation, zirconium, zirconium alloys, thermal expansion, anisotropy, point defects, recombination reactions, dislocations, grain boundaries
Research staff member, Oak Ridge National Lab., Oak Ridge, Tenn.