High strain fatigue properties of F82H ferritic-martensitic steel under proton irradiation
During the up and down cycles of a fusion reactor, the first wall is exposed concomitantly to a flux of energetic neutrons that generates radiation defects and to a thermal flux that induces thermal stresses. The resulting strains may exceed the elastic limit and induce plastic deformation in the material. A similar situation occurs in the window of a spallation liquid source target and results in the same type of damage. This particular loading has been simulated in F82H ferritic-martensitic steel, using a device allowing a fatigue test to be carried out during irradiation with 590 MeV protons. All fatigue tests were carried out in a strain controlled test at strain levels around 0.8% and at 300 degreesC. Two different signals have been used: a fully symmetrical triangle wave signal (R = -1) and a triangle ramp with 2 min tension holds. The fatigue was investigated under three different conditions: unirradiated, irradiated and post-irradiation tested, and finally in-beam tested. The main result is that the in-beam tested specimens have the lowest life as compared to the post-irradiation tested specimen and unirradiated specimen. Hydrogen is suspected to be the main contributor to the observed embrittlement. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.