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Structural evolution of zirconium carbide under ion irradiation

Abstract : Zirconium carbide is one of the candidate materials to be used for some fuel components of the high temperature nuclear reactors planned in the frame of the Gen-IV project. Few data exist regarding its behaviour under irradiation. We have irradiated ZrC samples at room temperature with slow heavy ions (4 MeV Au, fluence from 10(11) to 5 x 10(15) cm(-2)) in order to simulate neutron irradiations. Grazing incidence X-Ray diffraction (GIXRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis have been performed in order to study the microstructural evolution of the material versus ion fluence. A high sensitivity to oxidation is observed with the formation of zirconia precipitates during the ion irradiations. Three damage stages are observed. At low fluence (<10(12) cm(-2)), low modifications are observed. At intermediate fluence, high micro-strains appear together with small faulted dislocation loops. At the highest fluence (>10(14) cm(-2)), the micro-strains saturate and the loops coalesce to form a dense dislocation network. No other structural modification is observed. The material shows a moderate cell parameter increase, corresponding to a 0.6 vol.% swelling, which saturates around 10(14) ions/cm(2), i.e., a few Zr dpa. As a result, in spite of a strong covalent bonding component, ZrC seems to have a behaviour under irradiation close to cubic metals. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
keyword : ZRC
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Contributor : Christine Hadrossek <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 11:56:08 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 5:42:43 PM



D. Gosset, M. Dolle, D. Simeone, G. Baldinozzi, L. Thome. Structural evolution of zirconium carbide under ion irradiation. Journal of Nuclear Materials, Elsevier, 2008, 373, pp.123-129. ⟨10.1016/j.jnucmat.2007.05.034⟩. ⟨hal-00360437v2⟩



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