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Report No.
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Fracture-mechanics-based evaluation of failure limit on pre-cracked and hydrided Zircaloy-4 cladding tube under biaxial stress states

Li, F.; Mihara, Takeshi; Udagawa, Yutaka; Amaya, Masaki

To better understand the failure limit of fuel cladding during the pellet-cladding mechanical interaction (PCMI) phase of a reactivity-initiated accident (RIA), pre-cracked and hydrided cladding samples with base metal final heat-treatment status of cold worked (CW) and recrystallized (RX) were tested under biaxial stress conditions (axial to hoop strain ratios of 0 and 0.5). Displacement-controlled biaxial-expansion-due-to-compression (biaxial-EDC) tests were performed to obtain the hoop strain at failure (failure strain) of the samples. The conversion of the failure strains to J-integral at failure by finite-element analysis involving data of stress-relieved (SR) cladding specimens from our previous study revealed that the failure limit in the dimension of J-integral at failure unifies the effects of pre-crack depth. About 30 to 50 percent reduction in the J-integral at failure was observed as the strain ratio increased from 0 to 0.5 irrespective of the annealing type, pre-crack depth, and hydrogen content. the rate of fractional decreases of J-integral at failure with increase of hydrogen content are in the order of CW$$>$$SR$$>$$RX, which are essentially independent of strain ratio for the CW and SR samples. The results were incorporated into the failure prediction model of the JAEA's fuel performance code in the form of a correction factor that considers the biaxial loading effect.

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