Effects of thermo-mechanical process on phase transitions, hydrogen solubility and corrosion of Ta-modified Zr-1Nb alloys

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  • E.C. Savoy Polack
  • L.A. Lanzani
  • P.R. Alonso
  • D.P. Quirós
  • J.I. Mieza
  • G.H. Rubiolo

Colleges, School and Institutes


The feasibility of using Ta as a minor alloying element in Zr-1Nb alloys is addressed in terms of phase stability and resistance to corrosion of the microstructure obtained with the following two thermomechanical processes after a water quenching from 𝛽𝑍𝑟: a) annealed at 570 °C for 3840 h and b) a combination of intermediate annealing temperatures and cold rolled steps. Hydrogen solubility was also measured, but only alloys with the first process. It was found, through calorimetric measurements, that an increase of Ta replacing Nb in the nominal alloy composition increases the 𝛼 → (𝛼 + 𝛽) phase transformation temperature in agreement with an estimated increase in the enthalpy of formation of the 𝛽𝑁𝑏⁄𝑇𝑎 phase, ∆𝐻𝑓𝛽𝑁𝑏⁄𝑇𝑎. As expected, the mass fraction of 𝛽𝑁𝑏⁄𝑇𝑎 measured in the rolled alloys is lower. Further, this diminution is larger in the alloys containing Ta due to the lower mobility of Ta and higher ∆𝐻𝑓𝛽𝑁𝑏⁄𝑇𝑎. The growth of the oxide layer in each alloy, at 400 °C steam up to 14 days, follows the predictor calculated as the ratio between the atomic concentrations of Nb plus Ta in the alloy and ∆𝐻𝑓𝛽𝑁𝑏⁄𝑇𝑎. A slight decrease in hydrogen solubility was observed at low Ta content in the alloy.


Original languageEnglish
Article number153039
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Early online date5 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 May 2021


  • Zr–Nb alloy, Ta addition, phase transformation, corrosion, hydrogen solubility