The influence of hydride blisters on the fracture of Zircaloy-4

O. N. Pierron, D. A. Koss, A. T. Motta, K. S. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The fracture behavior under near plane-strain deformation conditions of Zircaloy-4 sheet containing solid hydride blisters of various depths has been examined at 25 and 300 °C. The study was based on material with either model 'blisters' having diameters of 2 and 3 mm or a continuous layer of hydride; in all cases, the substrate material contained discrete hydride precipitates. The fracture strains decrease rapidly with increasing hydride blister/layer depth to levels of about 100 μm deep, and then remain roughly constant. For a given blister depth, the material is significantly more ductile at 300 °C than at room temperature although measurable ductility is retained even at 25 °C and for large blister depths. The material is somewhat more ductile if the hydride is in the form of a blister than in the form of a continuous layer (rim). The hydride blisters/layers are brittle at all temperatures, and crack shortly after yielding of the ductile substrate. Consequently, both experimental evidence and analytical modeling indicate that fracture of the sheet is controlled by the crack growth resistance of the substrate at 25 °C. At elevated temperatures, the hydride particles within the substrate are quite ductile, inhibit crack growth, and failure eventually occurs due to a shear instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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