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Title: Computer Modeling of Transport of Oxidizing Species in Grain Boundaries during Zirconium Corrosion

Zirconium (Zr) based alloys are widely used as the cladding materials in light-water reactors. The water-side corrosion of these alloys degrades their structural integrity and poses serious safety concerns. During the Zr corrosion process, a thin Zr oxide (ZrO2) layer forms on the alloy surface and serves as a barrier layer for further corrosion. The majority of the oxide has the monoclinic phase. At the transition region between the oxide and the metal, the oxide contains a thin layer of stabilized tetragonal phase. It is found that the texture of the tetragonal layer determines the protectiveness of the oxide for corrosion. The transport of oxidizing species, such as anion defects, cation defects, and electron through the tetragonal oxide layer could be the rate limiting step of the corrosion. The defect diffusion can be affected by the growing stresses and microstructures such as grain boundaries and dislocations. In this work molecular dynamics simulations are used to investigate the anion and cation diffusion in bulk and at grain boundaries in tetragonal ZrO2. The results show that defect diffusion at grain boundaries is complex and the behavior strongly depends on the grain boundary type. For most of the grain boundaries studied the defectmore » diffusion are much slower than in the bulk, implying that grain boundaries may not be fast defect transport paths during corrosion. The connection between the modeling results and published experimental work will also be discussed. This work is funded by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program at Idaho National Laboratory.« less
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Conference: 2014 ANS Annual Meeting,Reno, Nevada,06/15/2014,06/19/2014
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE Computer modeling of defect transport in ZrO2