The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of types of motion and loading conditions on the wear of Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) fuel rod cladding made of Zircaloy-4 in contact with a grid support cell. Fretting-wear tests, for various combinations of motion and preload, were conducted at 310°C and 11.7 MPa using primary circuit water chemistry. Wear coefficients, derived from three-dimensional profilometry, were used to assess the severity of the wear process. The types of motion and the loading conditions were found to have a significant interdependent effect on fuel rod wear coefficients. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) examinations were performed on the worn fuel rod cladding specimens to identify wear mechanisms.

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