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The room temperature mechanical properties of unirradiated hot and cold isostatically pressed high purity beryllium and Zircaloy-2 are compared in three-point bend tests. For ram displacement rates of 1 mm min−1 beryllium exhibits comparable ductility (outer fibre strain) to that obtained with Zircaloy. However, for faster ram displacement rates (6.25 mm s−1) the beryllium specimen fractured in an elastic manner. Fast (E > 1 MeV) neutron irradiation of a beryllium specimen at 350 K to a fluence of 6.44 × 1024 n m−2 results in a negative growth strain of 0.03% and a loss in ductility. No visible radiation damage was detected by transmission electron microscopy and the observed irradiation growth strain is attributed to the formation of submicroscopic defect clusters.
beryllium, Zircaloy, three-point bend, irradiation growth, ductility, defect clusters, crystallographic texture
Unit Head, Nuclear Metallurgy, Metallurgical Research Department, Ontario Hydro Research Division, Toronto, Ontario