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Investigating the thermal stability of irradiation-induced damage in a zirconium alloy with novel in situ techniques

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2017.11.051 DOI Help

Authors: M. Topping (The University of Manchester) , T. Ungár (The University of Manchester; Eötvös University) , C. P. Race (The University of Manchester) , A. Harte (The University of Manchester) , A. Garner (The University of Manchester) , F. Baxter (The University of Manchester) , S. Dumbill (National Nuclear Laboratory) , P. Frankel (The University of Manchester) , M. Preuss (The University of Manchester)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Acta Materialia , VOL 145 , PAGES 255 - 263

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2018

Abstract: Zr alloys exhibit irradiation-induced growth and hardening which is associated with the defects and dislocation loops that form during irradiation. In this study, state-of-the-art in-situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction (SXRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques were used to investigate the stability of dislocation loops in two proton-irradiated Zr-Fe binary alloys in real time. Complementary data from both techniques show rapid annealing of a-loops occurs between 300 °C and 450 °C. Line profile analysis was performed on the SXRD patterns using the convoluted multiple whole profile analysis tool, to calculate the change in a-loop line density as a function of post-irradiation heat treatment temperature and time. At temperatures below 300 °C, no significant decrease in a-loop density was detected when held for 1 h at temperature. From this SXRD experiment, we calculate the effective activation energy for the annealing process as 0.46 eV. On-axis in-situ STEM imaging was used to directly observe a-loop mobility during heating cycles and confirm that a-loops begin to glide in the trace of the basal plane at ∼200 °C in a thin foil specimen. Such a-loop gliding events, leading to annihilation at the foil's surfaces, became more frequent between 300 and 450 °C.

Journal Keywords: Zirconium; Annealing; Dislocations; Line profile analysis; In situ

Subject Areas: Materials, Energy


Instruments: I11-High Resolution Powder Diffraction