The Battle Between Zirconium Alloys and Stainless Steel as Cladding of Nuclear Reactor Components: Part One.

By Matheus Tunes

A worthy research has been performed at Escola Politécnica (EPUSP) of the University of São Paulo to process, compile, compare and advance the best literature data about metallurgical and physical properties of irradiated Zirconium alloys and austenitic Stainless Steels.

The nuclear reactor environment is very harmful to the cladding materials, pressure vessel and other major components present in its surroundings. Why? Fast and slow neutrons acts like a massive bullet when it impinges towards a crystalline structure. As effect of that collisions, the metal or alloy crystalline arrangement experiences a gradually degradation and the materials loses its main mechanical properties.

These efforts resulted in a new research group to integrate the several works that have been carried out at EPUSP in the field of Nuclear Materials: Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Center (NUCMAT).

In this blog we will share information about our research, results and data regarding studies that will be developed in the next months. The first paper is an upcoming work that we will publish in the congress of ABM (Associação Brasileira de Metalurgia, Materiais e Mineração) entitled: “Comparative Framework of Zirconium Alloys and Austenitic Stainless Steels Structural Integrity under Neutron Irradiation”.

We hope that you worldwide scientists post comment about our work giving suggestions for improvements.

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