2013 Volume 54 Issue 6 Pages 1001-1005
Zirconium has been utilized in nuclear fuel reprocessing plants because of its superior corrosion resistance in nitric acid solutions. However, stress corrosion cracking (SCC) susceptibility of zirconium has been reported in boiling nitric acid solutions at the passivity breakdown potential. However, it has not been clear the SCC initiation and propagation behavior of zirconium.
In this study, to clarify the SCC initiation and propagation behavior of zirconium, constant load tensile tests were carried out in boiling nitric acid solutions.
From the results, many cracks were initiated under the oxide film and maximum crack led to rupture in the potentials that nobler than passivity breakdown potential. These results showed that the SCC of zirconium in boiling nitric acid solutions is due to the oxide formation. And this SCC behavior suggests that the SCC behavior of zirconium can be attributed to tarnish rupture model.