At present, practically nothing is known about the deformation behaviour of materials subjected simultaneously to external cyclic force and neutron irradiation. The main objective of the present work is to determine experimentally the mechanical response and resulting microstructural changes in CuCrZr(HT1) alloy exposed concurrently to flux of neutrons and creep-fatigue cyclic loading directly in a fission reactor. Special experimental facilities were designed and fabricated for this purpose. A number of in-reactor creep-fatigue experiments were successfully carried out in the BR-2 reactor at Mol (Belgium). In the present report we first describe the experimental facilities and the details of the in-reactor creep-fatigue experiments carried out at 363 and 343K at a strain amplitude of 0.5% with holdtimes of 10 and 100s, respectively. For comparison purposes, similar creep-fatigue tests were performed outside of the reactor. (i.e. in the absence of neutron irradiation). During in-reactor tests, the mechanical response was continuously registered throughout the whole test. The results are first presented in the form of hysteresis loops confirming that the nature of deformation during these tests was truly cyclic. The temporal evolution of the stress response in the specimens is presented in the form of the average maximum stress amplitude as a function of the number of cycles as well as a function of displacement dose accumulated during the tests. The results illustrate the nature and magnitude of cyclic hardening as well as softening as a function of the number of cycles and displacement dose. Details of the microstructure were investigated using TEM and STEM techniques. The fracture surface morphology was investigated using SEM technique. Both mechanical and microstructural results are briefly discussed. The main conclusion emerging from the limited amount of present results is that neither the irradiation nor the duration of the holdtime have any significant effect on the lifetime (in terms of number of cycle to failure) of the material.
|Place of Publication||Roskilde, Denmark|
|Publisher||Risø National Laboratory|
|Number of pages||45|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|
|Series||Denmark. Forskningscenter Risoe. Risoe-R|