Effect of pH on Hydrogen Pick-Up and Corrosion in Zircaloy-4

  • James Sayers
  • Susan Ortner
  • Kexue Li
  • Sergio Lozano-PerezEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


Thermal desorption spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy have been used to investigate the effect of pH on corrosion and hydrogen pick-up behaviour in different samples of Zircaloy-4. Samples were autoclave-oxidised in pure water and at an elevated pH (with 50% deuterated water) when compared to commercial reactors. A characteristic desorption peak for hydrogen has been found at ~650 °C, which occurs when the difference in free energy between hydrogen in the metal and in the gas phase becomes positive. Electron energy loss spectroscopy provided us with a method to detect and measure the thickness of the following layers (from oxide to metal): ZrO2, a previously reported ZrO suboxide, an oxygen saturated zirconium region and the Zr metal. Overall, samples exposed to a high pH show a longer time to transition and contain far less hydrogen than those oxidised in pure water. A mechanistic explanation will be provided.


Zircaloy-4 Hydrogen Deuterium Desorption 


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Sayers
    • 1
  • Susan Ortner
    • 2
  • Kexue Li
    • 1
  • Sergio Lozano-Perez
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of MaterialsUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.National Nuclear LaboratoryCulham Science CentreAbingdon, OxfordshireUK

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