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Journal Articles Journal of Nuclear Materials Year : 2021

The effect of strain biaxiality on the fracture of zirconium alloy fuel cladding

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Abstract

During a Reactivity Initiated Accident (RIA), nuclear fuel cladding experiences a multiaxial loading state in which the Pellet-Cladding Mechanical Interaction (PCMI) produces a strain biaxiality ratio (εzz/εθθ) of between 0 and 1. This study examines the effect of strain state and loading path on the fracture of Zircaloy-4 fuel cladding. A new mechanical test has been developed in order to apply several levels of strain biaxiality. Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is used to measure the strain field, to identify the onset of cladding failure, and to obtain the corresponding critical loading state. Results show that the strain biaxiality has a significant effect on the hoop strain at failure, and the smallest fracture strain is obtained for nearly plane strain conditions. A model is proposed for the accumulation of damage due to plastic deformation, based on the Lode parameter of the plastic strain rate tensor. The model is used to predict the failure hoop strain as a function of the strain biaxiality ratio (εzz/εθθ), and good agreement is found between the experimentally measured and predicted failure strains.
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Dates and versions

cea-03330340 , version 1 (31-08-2021)

Licence

Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives - CC BY 4.0

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Ahmed Zouari, Matthew Bono, David Leboulch, Thomas Le Jolu, Jérôme Crepin, et al.. The effect of strain biaxiality on the fracture of zirconium alloy fuel cladding. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2021, pp.153070. ⟨10.1016/j.jnucmat.2021.153070⟩. ⟨cea-03330340⟩
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