Deformation Related Processing to Performance of Zr Alloys
Leo Prakash, Ph.D.
University of Manchester
Zirconium and its alloys are used as cladding and channel material for fuel assemblies in the nuclear power generation industry. In this alloys, microstructural control is highly critical to improve deformation behaviour and in-reactor corrosion resistance to enhance the burn-up life of fuel assemblies. However, our knowledge of the physical processes responsible for the microstructural evolution and deformation behaviour is entirely empirical in Zr alloys. The aim of our current research has been the development of ideal microstructures through thermomechanical processing and understanding their performance. This work explores the deformation related micro mechanisms that are operative during the thermomechanical processing (hot rolling at 550°C), hot/cold deformation and alloying (Sn and O) additions in Zr using high resolution EBSD/TEM and in-situ neutron loading combined with the application of crystal plasticity modelling (CPFEM). The findings have important implications for the processing and performance of Zr alloys and useful for predictive process models.
Dr. Leo Prakash obtained his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 2005 at Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Germany and worked as a Postdoctoral researcher in the University of Oxford before being appointed a Senior Research Fellow in 2008 at the University of Manchester. A central aspect of his research is characterizing and modeling the inherently heterogeneous nature of metal deformation and its effects on materials performance. In the recent years he has worked extensively with the nuclear industry on the complex deformation behavior of Zr alloys to tailor microstructure and texture to enhance their performance. Other than nuclear materials, he is also actively researching the processing to performance of Ti and Mg alloys. This research was carried out using a range of state-of-the-art analytical tools, such as high-resolution EBSD/TEM, image correlation, in-situ neutron/X-ray synchrotron facilities and crystal plasticity finite element modeling. He is currently running a research collaboration with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) India on ‘Irradiation effects on flow localization in Zr alloys.