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Creep studies for zircaloy life prediction in water reactors


Zirconium alloys, commonly used as cladding tubes in water reactors, undergo complex biaxial creep deformation. The anisotropic nature of these metals makes it relatively complex to predict their dimensional changes in-reactor. These alloys exhibit transients in creep mechanisms as stress levels change. The underlying creep mechanisms and creep anisotropy depend on the alloy composition as well as the thermomechanical treatment. The anisotropic biaxial creep of cold-worked and recrystallized Zircaloy-4 in terms of Hill’s generalized stress formulation is described, and the temperature and stress dependencies of the steady-state creep rate are reviewed. Predictive models that incorporate anelastic strain are used for transient and transients in creep.