Phase Transformation Temperatures and Solute Redistribution in a Quaternary Zirconium Alloy
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This study investigates the phase stability and redistribution of solute during heating and cooling of a quaternary zirconium alloy, Excel (Zr-3.2Sn-0.8Mo-0.8Nb). Time-of-flight neutron diffraction data are analyzed using a novel Vegard’s law-based approach to determine the phase fractions and location of substitutional solute atoms in situ during heating from room temperature up to 1050 °C. It is seen that this alloy exhibits direct nucleation of the βZr phase from martensite during tempering, and stable retention of the βZr phase to high temperatures, unlike other two-phase zirconium alloys. The transformation strains resulting from the \(\alpha \leftrightarrow \beta \) transformation are shown to have a direct impact on the development of microstructure and crystallographic texture.
This work has been supported by the NSERC/NRCan Gen-IV Project, and the NSERC, UNENE, and Nu-Tech Precision Metals Industrial Research Chair Program at Queen’s University. This research at ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source was sponsored by the Scientific User Facilities Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy. The authors are thankful for the assistance of Dr. Whitfield, Dr. Kirkham, and Dr. Huq in performing the measurements at POWGEN.
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