Expanded Heat Treatment to Form Residual Compressive Hoop Stress on Inner Surface of Zirconium Alloy Tubing
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<BR>A specific heat treatment process that introduces hoop stress has been developed. This technique can produce zirconium alloy tubing with a residual compressive hoop stress near the inner surface by taking advantage of the mechanical anisotropy in hexagonal close-packed zirconium crystal. <BR>Since a crystal having its basal pole parallel to the tangential direction of the tubing is easier to exhibit plastic elongation under the hoop stress than that having its basal pole parallel to the radial direction, the plastic and elastic elongation can coexist under a certain set of temperature and hoop stress conditions. The mechanical anisotropy plays a role to extend the coexistent stress range. Thus, residual compressive hoop stress is formed at the inner surface where more plastic elongation occurs during the heat treatment. <BR>This process is referred to as expanded heat treatment. Since this is a fundamental crystallographic principle, it has various applications. The application to improve PCI/SCC (pellet cladding interaction/stress corrosion cracking) properties of water reactor fuel cladding is promising. <BR>Excellent results were obtained with laboratory-scale heat treatment and an out-reactor iodine SCC test. These results included an extension of the time to SCC failure.
- Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology
Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology 34(9), 909-916, 1997-09-25
Atomic Energy Society of Japan