Dissolution of Intermetallic Second-Phase Particles in Zircaloy-2 in High-Temperature Steam
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The stability of intermetallic second-phase particles (SPPs) in coated Zircaloy-2 was studied in 700 °C steam environments up to 20 hours. Hydrogen generated from high-temperature steam oxidation of uncoated Zr-induced δ-hydrides formation in the Zircaloy matrix. Synchrotron XRD demonstrated that longer exposure times increased hydride peak intensity and decreased intermetallic SPPs’ peak intensity. Cross-sectional SEM analysis verified the intermetallic SPPs’ volume fraction reduction. The size distribution of intermetallic SPPs was characterized and larger particles were dissolved at longer oxidation time. A correlation between the hydrogen concentration and the volume fraction of intermetallic SPPs at 700 °C steam environment was found, with the volume fraction of SPPs decreasing as hydrogen concentration increases.
This study was supported by the US Department of Energy Nuclear Energy University Programs Integrated Research Project under Contract Number IRP-12-4728; supported by the University of Illinois Campus Research Board under Award Number RB17006; and supported by Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program (Project No. 13-027) at BNL. The microanalysis was performed in the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory Central Facilities, University of Illinois, which are partially supported by the US Department of Energy under Grants DE-FG02-07ER46453 and DE-FG02-07ER46471. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. The authors are grateful to Richard Spence (APS) for his help with synchrotron XRD measurement.
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