In order to investigate systematically the effect of Bi addition on the corrosion resistance of zirconium alloys, different zirconium-based alloys, including Zr-4 (Zr-1.5Sn-0.2Fe-0.1Cr), S5 (Zr-0.8Sn-0.35Nb-0.4Fe-0.1Cr), T5 (Zr-0.7Sn-1.0Nb-0.3Fe-0.1Cr) and Zr-1Nb, were adopted to prepare the zirconium alloys containing Bi of 0∼0.5% in mass fraction. These alloys were denoted as Zr-4+xBi, S5+xBi, T5+xBi and Zr-1Nb+xBi, respectively. The corrosion behavior of these specimens was investigated by autoclave testing in lithiated water with 0.01 M LiOH or deionized water at 360°C/18.6 MPa and in superheated steam at 400 °C/10.3 MPa. The micro structure of the alloys was examined by TEM and the second phase particles (SPPs) were analyzed by EDS. Micro structure observation shows that the addition of Bi promotes the precipitation of Sn as second phase particles (SPPs) because Sn is in solid solution in α-Zr matrix in Zr-4, S5 and T5 alloys. The concentration of Bi dissolved in α-Zr matrix increase with the increase of Nb in the alloys, and the excess Bi precipitates as Bi-containing SPPs. The corrosion results show that the effect of Bi addition on the corrosion behavior of different zirconium-based alloys is very complicated, depending on their compositions and corrosion conditions. In the case of higher Bi concentration in α-Zr, the zirconium alloys exhibit better corrosion resistance. However, in the case of precipitation of Bi-containing SPPs, the corrosion resistance gets worse. This indicates that the solid solution of Bi in α-Zr matrix can improve the corrosion resistance, while the precipitation of the Bi-containing SPPs is harmful to the corrosion resistance.

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