Experimental Analysis of Slip Systems Activation in Neutron-Irradiated Zirconium Alloys and Comparison with Polycrystalline Model Simulations


The deformation mechanisms of recrystallized zirconium alloys are strongly influenced by neutron irradiation with significant consequences on the mechanical behavior at the macroscopic scale. It is especially observed, through transmission electron microscopy, that the dislocation channeling process in the basal plane is the main deformation mechanism after irradiation. A polycrystalline modeling which takes into account both the specific post-irradiation deformation mechanisms, and the texture of the material has been developed. This physically based model reproduces the mechanical behavior of the material for both monotonic and cyclic tests. The slip system activities have been computed for several grains observed by TEM. The activation of the basal slip is very well predicted. Moreover, the activation of 〈c+a〉-pyramidal slip observed only in few grains, and the absence of prismatic activation is also well predicted showing the reliability of the modeling.

Manuscript submitted April 6, 2012.