Interaction between basal edge/mixed dislocations and point defects in zirconium

RX Xie and CL Xu and XB Tian and QY Wang and WT Jiang and HD Fan, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PLASTICITY, 171, 103815 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijplas.2023.103815

Zirconium alloys are widely used in nuclear reactors. Due to frequent displacement cascade events under irradiation, a large number of point defects are generated in zirconium alloys. In this work, the interactions between edge/mixed dislocations and point defects (vacancies and SIAs (self-interstitial atoms)) are studied by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The simulation results indicate that vacancies are not absorbed by edge dislocations but by mixed dislocations. Compared with their weak pinning effect on edge dislocation motion, vacancies have an intermediate pinning effect on the motion of mixed dislocation. In contrast, SIAs are all absorbed by edge and mixed dislocations and have a strong pinning effect. Then, force equilibrium is established on point defects to explain the absorption of point defects. The attractive force between dislocations and point defects is calculated from the binding energy, and the friction force of point defects is calculated from the migration energy. We found that the friction force of vacancies on edge dislocations is larger than the attractive force, and thus the vacancies cannot be absorbed. For the other three cases, the attractive force is large enough to overcome the friction force, and the point defects are absorbed.

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