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Determination of residual stresses around blisters in Zr-2.5%Nb pressure tubes

  • Javier R. Santisteban (a1), Axel Steuwer (a2), Gladys Domizzi (a3) and Matthew J. Peel (a4)


We have used synchrotron X-ray diffraction experiments to measure the strain field introduced by a hydride blister grown on a section of a pressure tube from a CANDU nuclear reactor. After charging the tube section with a homogeneous hydrogen concentration of 300 wt ppm, the blister was produced by creating a small cold spot on its surface (∼200 °C), while the bulk was kept at a temperature of 338 °C over a period of 1008 h. The blister studied here is ellipsoidal in shape, with its long axis along the tube axial direction. The experiments were performed on the wiggler beam line ID15 at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) using a polychromatic beam of high-energy X-rays (60 to 300 keV). Unlike conventional X-ray diffraction, in this mode the scattering angle is fixed and the diffracted beam is discriminated on the basis of the photon energy. The results show that the blister is composed by two crystallographic phases (δ-ZrH and α-Zr), with volume fractions varying with position. The maximum stresses appear at the blister-matrix interfaces. Near the tube outer surface, we found large compressive stresses of (−450±90) MPa along the blister long axis, and tensile stresses (+320±90) MPa along the tube hoop direction. The main uncertainty in these stresses results from the uncertainty in the elastic constants of the hydride phase. Large strains and broad peaks were observed for this phase, which were explained by a rather low Young’s modulus (35 GPa) for the hydride. The results are compared with finite element simulations found in the literature.



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Determination of residual stresses around blisters in Zr-2.5%Nb pressure tubes

  • Javier R. Santisteban (a1), Axel Steuwer (a2), Gladys Domizzi (a3) and Matthew J. Peel (a4)


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