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A development program is described in which reactor grade Zr-2.5Nb pressure tubes were produced with properties comparable to current reactor tubes but which are expected to show lower in-reactor creep and growth. Lower creep and growth rates would mean smaller axial elongations of tubes in service.
Evaluation of the tubes showed that they met the specification requirements and compared favorably with tubes produced by the current route. Early in-reactor creep tests suggest that the development tubes will exhibit similar diametral creep behavior to current tubes. In-reactor growth tests have not yet reached steady-state behavior. The properties and possible reasons for the behavior are reported and discussed.
zirconium alloy, pressure tube, fabrication, mechanical properties, structure, in-reactor creep and growth
Unit head, Nuclear Metallurgy, Ontario Hydro Research Division, Toronto, Ont.
Manager, Materials Engineering, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., CANDU-Operations, Sheridan Park, Ont.
Branch head, Metallurgical Engineering, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Research Co., Chalk River, Ont.