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Title: Anisotropic mechanical properties of zircon and the effect of radiation damage

Our study provides new insights into the relationship between radiation-dose-dependent structural damage, due to natural U and Th impurities, and the anisotropic mechanical properties (Poisson s ratio, elastic modulus and hardness) of zircon. Natural zircon samples from Sri Lanka (see Muarakami et al. 1991) and synthetic samples, covering a dose range of zero up to 6.8 x 10 18 -decays/g, have been studied by nanoindentation. Measurements along the [100] crystallographic direction and calculations, based on elastic stiffness constants determined by zkan (1976), revealed a general radiation-induced decrease in stiffness (~ 54 %) and hardness (~ 48 %) and an increase of the Poisson s ratio (~ 54 %) with increasing dose. Additional indentations on selected samples along the [001] allowed one to follow the amorphization process to the point that the mechanical properties are isotropic. This work shows that the radiation-dose-dependent changes of the mechanical properties of zircon can be directly correlated with the amorphous fraction as determined by previous investigations with local and global probes (Rios et al. 2000a; Farnan and Salje 2001; Zhang and Salje 2001). This agreement, revealed by the different methods, indicates a huge influence of structural and even local phenomena on the macroscopic mechanical properties.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Stanford Univ., CA (United States); Univ. of Hamburg (Germany)
  2. Stanford Univ., CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of Hamburg (Germany)
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics and Chemistry of Minerals
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Physics and Chemistry of Minerals; Journal ID: ISSN 0342-1791
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; zircon; radiation damage; alpha-decay; metamictization; nanoindentation; mechanical properties
OSTI Identifier: