We have investigated the effects of Sn and Nb on dislocation properties in a Zr lattice to elucidate the role of these alloying elements in hydride nucleation processes. According to experimental observations, γ-hydride habit planes are close to the prismatic plane in pure Zr and close to the basal plane in Zircaloy. Dislocation loops are observed around hydride precipitates, implying they play a part in hydride formation. Our ab initio generalized stacking-fault energy calculations showed remarkable effects of Sn on unstable-stacking energy and stacking-fault energy: these parameters for basal slip were considerably reduced while those for prismatic slip were increased in the presence of Sn. These results suggest selective stabilization and enhancement of dislocation spreading in the basal plane, promoting possible elementary processes of hydride precipitation with basal habit plane, i.e. screw-dislocation spreading and edge-dislocation emission in the basal plane.
ASJC Scopus subject areas