2019 Graduate Student Showcase

Title of Submission

Oxidation of Zirconium Alloy Fuel Cladding Material

Degree Program

Materials Science and Engineering, MS

Major Advisor Name

Brian Jaques

Type of Submission

Scholarly Poster


Zirconium alloys are often used as nuclear fuel cladding. During transients the cladding may be exposed to air at high temperatures, which can cause accelerated oxidation that compromises the structural integrity of the cladding. There exist discrepancies in literature regarding the behavior of zirconium alloys under these conditions. The research presented compares the behavior of Zircaloy-3, Zircaloy-4, and Zr-1Nb during isothermal oxidation (500-820 °C) as well as rapid transient oxidation (≈ 700 °C/s) scenarios. The effect of alloying elements, plastic deformation, and welding are analyzed. The oxidation behavior is compared using TGA data, oxide thickness measurements, and post-oxidation imaging.

Funding Information

Funded primarily through the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE-NNSA) Office of Materials Minimization and Management

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