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Journal Articles Journal of Nuclear Materials Year : 2008

Structural evolution of zirconium carbide under ion irradiation

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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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