Influence of Oxidation Media on the Transport Properties of Thin Oxide Layers of Zirconium Alloys

H. Frank


Two batches of tubes of Zr1Nb and of Zry-4W were oxidized for 30 days at 425 °C in steam, and for 360 days at 500 °C in air, respectively. The analysis of the I-V characteristics at constant temperatures up to 220 °C of oxide layers of nearly equal thickness gave an activation energy of 1,3 eV for the grey homogeneous steam samples, and of 0.4 eV for the white surface layer, and of 1.3 eV at temperatures over 140 °C, for the grey bottom layer of the air samples, respectively. The I-V characteristics were sub-linear in the air samples, the current growing less at rising voltages, but staightening to super-linear space-charge limited currents at higher temperatures. The injection currents flowing when voltage was applied did not reach constant equilibrium, but at a bend, continued with a lesser slope. The resistivity was about one order of magnitude greater in air samples and greater in Zry-4W. The relative permittivity was greater in the steam samples and greater in Zr1Nb. The currents of the air samples were greater with Au electrodes than with Ag electrodes. 


Zirconium alloys; oxide layers; relative permittivity; sub-linear I-V characteristics; space-charge limited current; zero-voltage; injection and extraction current; power law of current drop; temperature dependence of resistivity; activation energy

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague