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Journal Articles Journal of Nuclear Materials Year : 2008

Structural evolution of zirconium carbide under ion irradiation


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.



Dates and versions

hal-00360437 , version 1 (11-02-2009)
hal-00360437 , version 2 (28-08-2013)



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