Fracture Toughness of VVER and PWR Uranium-Dioxide Fuel Pellets with Different Grain Size
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The results of experimental studies of crack formation and fracture toughness of VVER and PWR uranium dioxide fuel pellets with different grain size are presented for the purpose of making a comparative analysis of their strength properties. It is found that as the grains increase in size their Young’s modulus and the microhardness increase and the fracture toughness decreases. It is determined that for relatively small loads (to 1 kg) the formation of Palmqvist cracks is characteristic for uranium oxide pellets, and in the case of large grains they propagate freely over a large distance right through grains (transcrystallite propagation) while for small grains they propagate predominately along grain boundaries with branching (intercrystallite propagation).
KeywordsUranium Fracture Toughness Stress Intensity Factor Small Load Uranium Oxide
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