Two Zr-Sn-Nb alloys with minor Germanium or silicon additions were prepared by traditional manufacturing process to meet the design requirements. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) were utilized to characterize the detail microstructure of base alloys. Corrosion resistance was examined by the weight gain in static autoclave with different water chemistry environments. The mechanical properties at room temperature and elevated temperature were evaluated by conventional tensile testing. Thermal creep resistance was evaluated by an internally-pressurized creep test at 385 °C with hoop stresses of about 108 MPa and 150 MPa (during 24 h). It was found that SZA-6 and SZA-4 alloys consisted of partially recrystallized grain structures with uniformly distributed fine second phase particles (SPPs) located within grain interior and at grain boundaries. Both SZA-4 and SZA-6 alloys exhibited excellent corrosion resistance in two water chemistry conditions. The corrosion resistance of SZA-6 was better than the reference commercial alloy, and SZA-4 was slightly better than SZA-6. The mechanical properties of two new zirconium alloys were comparable, and both of them can meet the design criterion. Moreover, the thermal creep resistance of SZA-4 and SZA-6 alloys was equivalent to existing commercial alloy. Considering the outstanding corrosion resistance, satisfied mechanical properties and thermal creep resistance, SZA-4 and SZA-6 alloys were suggested as promising alloys used for CAP1400 fuel assembly in the future.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
Microstructure and Properties of New Zirconium Alloys for CAP1400 Fuel Assembly
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Zeng, Q, Zhu, L, Yuan, G, Wang, L, Sun, G, & Lu, J. "Microstructure and Properties of New Zirconium Alloys for CAP1400 Fuel Assembly." Proceedings of the 2017 25th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Volume 3: Nuclear Fuel and Material, Reactor Physics and Transport Theory; Innovative Nuclear Power Plant Design and New Technology Application. Shanghai, China. July 2–6, 2017. V003T02A037. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE25-66951
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