Investigating the affect of chlorine carbides on fracture toughness in zirconium alloys used for nuclear applications - Year two

Zirconium alloys are used extensively in nuclear reactor cores for key components such as fuel assemblies and pressure tubes. It is extremely important that the in-service behavior of these components is well characterized to ensure they remain fit-for-service. This work will investigate the relationship between harmful impurity elements, specifically chlorine, and the fracture toughness of a zirconium alloy, Zr-2.5Nb. It is known that chlorine results in the formation of tiny precipitates, which are particularly damaging because they tend to cluster and form elongated voids, termed fissures. Despite there significance there is a lack of mechanistic understanding concerning the formation of fissures, which this fellowship aims to remedy. The work is a collaboration with Canadian Nuclear Laboratory (CNL) who support the Canadian nuclear industry through their expertise on the in-reactor behavior of core components. This fellowship will be mutually beneficial to Queen’s University and CNL as Queen’s University is home to a new state-of-the-art nuclear materials characterization suite; and will be the centre of the bulk of the research carried out as part of this work. This will allow for high-impact publications and a more thorough understanding of the effect of chlorine on the fracture toughness Zr-2.5Nb

Matthew Leslie Topping
Faculty Supervisor: 
Mark Richard Daymond
Partner University: