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Caractérisation du comportement à rupture des alliages de zirconium de la gaine du crayon combustible des centrales nucléaires dans la phase post-trempe d'un APRP (Accident de Perte de Réfrigérant Primaire)

Abstract : In order to guarantee the integrity of nuclear fuel rod cladding, it is necessary for EDF to characterize the ductility of cladding after a Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA). The thesis is about the characterization of the fracture behavior of cold-worked stress-relieved Zircaloy-4 claddings which have undergone LOCA conditions simulated in laboratory by a high temperature oxidation followed by a cooling. The high temperature oxidation is carried out at 1100°C and 1200°C with different times, which leads to different oxidation levels varying from 3% to 30% ECR (Equivalent Cladding Reacted). The high temperature oxidation is followed by two types of cooling: water quench and air cooling. The oxidized claddings contain two fragile layers - the outer zirconium oxide ZrO2 layer and the middle α(O) layer, and a layer which can have residual ductility - the inner ex-β layer.Characterizations by means of optical microscopy, electron probe micro analysis and nano-indentation have been carried out on the oxidized claddings. A correlation between the oxygen concentration and the nano-hardness and the Young's modulus has been proposed.The Expansion Due to Compression (EDC) test has been developed with an instrumentation of stereo digital image correlation, and then used to characterize the mechanical behavior of the oxidized claddings. The behavior of the oxidized claddings has been studied via macroscopic EDC test curves and observations of fractured or pre-deformed test samples.A fracture scenario of the oxidized claddings has been proposed. The fracture scenario has then been validated via EDC tests on oxidized claddings whose ZrO2 and α(O) layers have been removed, and via finite element modeling of EDC tests. Moreover, a fracture criterion has been established. The mechanical behavior modeling and the proposed fracture criterion have been validated by modeling of ring compression test.
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Mi He. Caractérisation du comportement à rupture des alliages de zirconium de la gaine du crayon combustible des centrales nucléaires dans la phase post-trempe d'un APRP (Accident de Perte de Réfrigérant Primaire). Autre. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012ENMP0078⟩. ⟨pastel-00819279⟩

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