A matrix containing inert gas bubbles dilates in direct proportion to the growth experienced by the gas bubbles. This phenomenon is termed as swelling. A model for the swelling induced by the growth of the helium gas bubbles in irradiated copper-boron alloys is presented. The bubbles grow by acquiring vacancies from the external surface, which acts as a source of vacancies. The vacancies reach the surface of the bubbles mainly via lattice diffusion and to a limited extent via diffusion through short-circuiting paths such as grain boundaries and dislocation pipes. The model predicts that overall swelling of the matrix varies as 1.5th power of time. Another consequence of the present model is that the growth rate of a gas bubble varies inversely as the cube of its distance from the external surface. The model has been applied to the data on irradiated copper-boron alloys and found to be in accord with the experimental results. The model is general and can be applied to the growth of all kinds of stationary inert gas bubbles trapped within a crystalline matrix.

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