A transmission electron microscopy investigation was performed on oxides formed on three zirconium alloys (Zircaloy-4, ZIRLO and Zr-2.5Nb) in pure water and lithiated water environments. This research is part of a systematic study of oxide microstructures using various techniques to explain differences in corrosion rates of different zirconium alloys. In this work, cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy was used to determine the morphology of the oxide layers (grain size and shape, oxide phases, texture, cracks, and incorporation of precipitates). These characteristics were found to vary with the alloy chemistry, the corrosion environment, and the distance from the oxide/metal interface. These are discussed and used in conjunction with observations from other techniques to derive a mechanism of oxide growth in zirconium alloys.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering