AMPC  Vol.3 No.2 , June 2013
Study of Oxidation Kinetics in Air of Zircaloy-4 by in Situ X-Ray Diffraction
Abstract: The zircaloy-4 is an alloy of zirconium, which has a very weak thermal neutron absorption, satisfactory mechanical properties and good corrosion resistance at high temperature. For these reasons, zircaloy-4 is used as a material of cladding fuel rod of nuclear reactors. In this environment, it is submitted to different severe conditions of temperature and pressure. The objective of this work is to study the oxidation kinetics of zircaloy-4 in air by the X-ray diffraction technique. The experiments were realized in a “HTK1200” furnace installed as a sample holder in the diffractometer at different temperatures; 25°C, 350°C, 500°C, 830°C and 1000°C. The results show that the monoclinic and the tetragonal phases are formed at 350°C temperature. The volume fraction of these phases increased with the temperature until 1000°C where the α phase disappears completely. For simulating the case of loss-of-coolant-accident (LOCA), we have done x-ray diffraction of Zry-4 samples water quenched at 1050°C with different ageing times at this temperature. At 10 seconds and more, there is an important evolution of monoclinic and tetragonal zirconias, which leads to the degradation of zircaloy-4 properties.
Cite this paper: N. Selmi and A. Sari, "Study of Oxidation Kinetics in Air of Zircaloy-4 by in Situ X-Ray Diffraction," Advances in Materials Physics and Chemistry, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 168-173. doi: 10.4236/ampc.2013.32023.

[1]   A. Stern, J.-C. Brachet, V. Maillot, D. Hamon, F. Barcelo, S. Poissonnet, A. Pineau, J.-P. Mardon and A. Lesbros, “Investigations of the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Prior-Structure as a Function of the Oxygen Content in Two Zirconium Alloys,” Journal of ASTM International, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2008, Article ID: JAI101119.

[2]   S. Banerjee and P. Mukhopadyay, “Phase Transformation: Examples from Titanium and Zirconium Alloys,” Pergamon Press, Oxford, 2007, pp. 6-11, 42.

[3]   D. Yacoub, “Experimental Study of Zirconium Alloys Oxidation at High Water Steam Pressure and Modelling of Mechanisms,” Ph.D. Thesis, Superior National School of Mines, Saint-Etienne, 2007.

[4]   N. Bererd, “Irradiation Effects on the Zirconium Oxidation and the Uranium Diffusion in the Zirconia,” Ph.D. Thesis, Claude Bernard University-Lyon I, Chevarier Alain (Dir.), 2003.

[5]   W. Qin, C. Nam, H. L. Li and J. A. Szpunar, “Tetragonal Phase Stability in ZrO2 Film Formed on Zirconium Alloys and Its Effects on Corrosion Resistance,” Acta Materialia, Vol. 55, No. 5, 2007, pp. 1695-1701. doi:10.1016/j.actamat.2006.10.030

[6]   N. Pétigny, “Comparison of Tow Zirconium Alloys Oxidation by in-Situ and ex-Situ X-Ray Diffraction: Texture, Phase,” Ph.D. Thesis, Bourgogne University, Dijon, 1999.

[7]   P. Putoud, “Alloys Oxidation of the Zircaloy-4 Type with Different Contents of tin at 400°C in the Steam. Analyzes of Phases in Presence and Their Evolution,” Ph.D. Thesis, Compiegne Technology University, Compiègne, 1995.

[8]   J. Debuigne, “Contribution in the Study of the Zirconium Oxidation and the Oxygen Diffusion in the Oxide and the Metal,” Ph.D. Thesis, Paris University, Paris, 1966.

[9]   M. Parise, “Mechanisms of Zirconium Alloys Corrosion: Study of the Oxidation initial Kinetics and the Mechanical Behaviour of the Metal-Oxide System,” Ph.D. Thesis, Superior National School of Mines, Paris, 1996.