|About this Abstract
||Materials Science & Technology 2019
||Materials for Nuclear Applications
||Multi-dimensional, In-situ Mechanical Testing to Evaluate Damage and Fracture of Chromium-Coated Zirconium-based Fuel Claddings
||David Roache, Alex Jarama, Clifton Bumgardner, Frederick Michael Heim, Xiaodong Li
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
Chromium-coated zircaloy claddings are attractive, next-generation nuclear fuel claddings for their expected high oxidation resistance; however, the coupled chemical-mechanical performance of the chromium coatings remains untested. Here, we mechanically tested these claddings under de-coupled loading conditions to evaluate their validity as a cladding material for nuclear applications, specifically under accident conditions. In-situ, three-dimensional digital image correlation and acoustic emissions techniques were used to monitor full-field strain and crack initiation, while scanning electron microscopy was used to characterize crack propagation at various levels of strain and oxidation degradation. Finally, a two-pronged, predictive modeling approach was developed: a three-dimensional mechanics model was created using experimentally-derived loading parameters to inform boundary conditions of a two-dimensional fracture model. The fracture model unveiled the driving mechanisms for crack propagation within the coating, which serve as oxidation ingression channels. This work has demonstrated these claddings exhibit excellent mechanical performance and oxidation resistance.