Zirconium based alloys are commonly used as material for fuel claddings in the light water reactors. Claddings act as first metallic barriers against loss of fission products during the nuclear power plant operation, intermittent storage or final dry storage. During the reactor operation, claddings are subjected to different stress levels at high temperatures as well as neutron radiation. This results in their corrosion, hydrogen diffusion, hydrogen embrittlement and creep. The integrity of claddings is always critical issue for during reactor operation, loss of coolant accidents and during storage of spent fuel. In this work, ring compression testing method developed was applied to study hydrogen embrittlement, to evaluate the stress–strain behavior and hoop fracture properties of E110 (Zr-based) fuel claddings. Tests were performed on un-irradiated fuel claddings with varying hydrogen concentrations 0, 189, 217, 328 and 393 wt. ppm at 380 °C. Further the stress – strain curves were calculated and mathematical models were used to determine the collapse load and ultimate tensile strength. The results show that the collapse load and the tensile strength values depend strongly on hydrogen concentration. In particular, tensile strength experiment data shows significant change in its trend after reaching the maximum hydrogen solubility limit at 380 °C. Furthermore RCT method showed to be simple-effective, removes complexity of specimen preparation, reduce the amount of radioactive waste and reproducible for evaluating the strength and embrittlement of irradiated claddings in hot cells at varying conditions.Keywords: Metallurgy, steel, properties, applications, testing methods
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