Effects of irradiation on the microstructure and mechanical properties of nanostructured materials
Nanostructured materials should present a good resistance to irradiation because the large volume fraction of grain boundaries can be an important sink for radiation-induced defects. The objective of the present study is to experimentally investigate the irradiation impact on the microstructure and mechanical properties in nanostructured materials. Nickel and Cu-0.5Al(2)O(3) specimens were synthesized by electro deposition (ED) and severe plastic deformation (SPD). Mean grain size of the unirradiated specimen is about 30 nm for the ED Ni and about 115 nm for the SPD Ni. 590 MeV proton irradiation and 840 keV nickel ion irradiation were conducted at room temperature. Vickers hardness measurements and transmission electron microscope observation were performed to examine the impact of irradiation on nanocrystalline materials. It appears that the irradiation induced microstructure in Ni and in Cu-0.5Al(2)O(3), which leads to hardening, consists exclusively of stacking fault tetrahedra. Their density appears much lower than in the case of coarser grained material. These results, experimentally showing the resistance of nanostructured material to radiation damage, are presented here.