Microstructural characterization of creep anisotropy at 673K in the M5® alloy

Abstract : Zirconium alloy tubing is used in pressurized water nuclear reactors in order to prevent fissile material from leaking into the coolant. It can be the first safety wall of nuclear fuel, and is submitted to complex thermomechanical loadings. In consequence, new Nb-modified alloys, such as the M5 alloy, and fine numerical models are being developed to guarantee a better and longer mechanical integrity of these tubes. To identify the physical mechanisms that could be considered in such models, an experimental approach, combining creep tests with electron backscattered diffraction and Transmission electron microscopy investigations, was carried out. Tubular specimens were submitted to multiaxial creep tests at a temperature of 673 K. Seven ratios between the axial and hoop applied stresses were investigated. It enabled a macroscopic evidence of the creep anisotropy. Besides, EBSD analyses on a mesoscopic- sized non deformed area led to the characterization of the variation of the average Schmid factor with the direction of loading. Finally,TEM observations were done on seven crept samples, corresponding to the seven directions of loading tested mechanically. The variations of the different parameters investigated (activated slip systems, dislocation densities, curvatures of the dislocations) can be seen as the effects of the creep anisotropy at a microscopic scale. The correlation between results is then discussed in a multiscale frame.
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Martin Rautenberg, Xavier Feaugas, Dominique Poquillon, Jean-Marc Cloué. Microstructural characterization of creep anisotropy at 673K in the M5® alloy. Acta Materialia, Elsevier, 2012, vol. 60, pp. 4319-4327. ⟨10.1016/j.actamat.2012.04.001⟩. ⟨hal-00825276v2⟩

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