Effect of laser fluence on surface, structural and mechanical properties of Zr after irradiation in the ambient environment of oxygen
Centre for Advanced Studies in Physics, GC University Lahore, Pakistan
Received: 24 December 2012
Received in final form: 28 February 2013
Published online: 1 August 2013
The laser irradiation effects on surface, structural and mechanical properties of zirconium (Zr) have been investigated. For this purpose, Zr samples were irradiated with Excimer (KrF) laser (λ ≈ 248 nm, τ ≈ 18 ns, repetition rate ≈ 30 Hz). The irradiation was performed under the ambient environment of oxygen gas at filling pressure of 20 torr by varying laser fluences ranging from 3.8 to 5.1 cm-2. The surface and structural modification of irradiated targets was investigated by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray diffractometer (XRD). In order to explore the mechanical properties of irradiated Zr, the tensile testing and Vickers micro hardness testing techniques were employed. SEM analysis reveals the grain growth on the irradiated Zr surfaces for all fluences. However, the largest sized grains are grown for the lowest fluence of 3.8 J cm-2. With increasing fluence from 4.3 to 5.1 J cm-2, the compactness and density of grains increase whereas their size decreases. XRD analysis reveals the appearance of new phases of ZrO2 and Zr3O. The variation in the peak intensity is observed to be anomalous whereas decreasing trend in the crystallite size and residual stresses has been observed with increasing fluence. Micro hardness analysis reveals the increasing trend in surface hardness with increasing fluence. The tensile testing exhibits the increasing trend of yield stress (YS), decreasing trend of percentage elongation and anomalous behaviour of ultimate tensile strength with increasing fluence.
Key words: Optical Phenomena and Photonics
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag 2013