Stress-induced Hydride Reorientation and Cracking in Fuel Cladding Tube

  • Albertas GRYBĖNAS Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Vidas MAKAREVIČIUS Senior Research Associate Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Tadas KALIATKA Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Gintautas DUNDULIS Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Rita KRIŪKIENĖ Lithuanian Energy Institute
Keywords: zirconium alloys, fuel cladding, hydride, reorientation


Goal of this research was to find out if reorientation can influence cladding failure and determine conditions and possible mechanism of failure.  Reorientation tests were done on zircaloy nuclear fuel cladding specimens. Specimens were made having two triangular notches along specimen axis which are similar to the surface flaw that can form during operation. Loading was applied using PLT loading fixture to give stress proportional to a distance from the specimen front. When loaded, specimen was cooled from 340 to 40 °C at a cooling rate 0.25 °/min., total duration of test was 20h.  After testing, specimen was examined layer by layer metallographically to determine hydride reorientation under certain stress conditions. In case of a surface flaw reorientation of hydrides takes place perpendicular to the stress direction. It was found that hydride reorientation occurs at a stress range 77 – 89 MPa, for initiation of DHC process larger stress is required than for hydride reorientation.