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Journal Articles Materials Year : 2022

Radiation-induced sharpening in Cr-Coated zirconium alloy


To improve the safety of nuclear power plants, a Cr protective layer is deposited on zirconium alloys to enhance oxidation resistance of the nuclear fuel cladding during both in-service and hypothetical accidental transients at High Temperature (HT) in Light Water Reactors. The formation of the Cr2O3 film on the coating surface considerably helps in reducing the oxidation kinetics of the zirconium alloy, especially during hypothetic Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA). However, if the Cr coating is successful to increase the oxidation resistance at HT of the zirconium substrate, for in-service conditions, under neutron irradiation, Cr desquamation has to be avoided to guarantee a safe use of the Cr-coated zirconium alloys. Therefore, the adhesion properties have to be maintained despite the structural defects created by sustained neutron irradiation in the reactor environment. This paper proposes to study the behavior of the Zircaloy-Cr interface of a first generation Cr-coated material during a specific in situ ion irradiation. As deposited, the Cr-coated sample presents a f.c.c. C15 Laves-type intermetallic phase at the interface with off-stoichiometric composition. After irradiation and for the specific conditions applied, this interfacial phase has significantly dissolved. Energy Dispersion Spectroscopy revealed that the dissolution was accompanied by a counterintuitive “sharpening” effect.
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hal-03623482 , version 1 (30-03-2022)





Joël Ribis, Alexia Wu, Raphaëlle Guillou, Jean-Christophe Brachet, Cédric Baumier, et al.. Radiation-induced sharpening in Cr-Coated zirconium alloy. Materials, 2022, 15 (6), pp.2322. ⟨10.3390/ma15062322⟩. ⟨hal-03623482⟩
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