Journal article

Microstructural development under irradiation in European ODS ferritic/martensitic steels

Oxide dispersion strengthened steels based on the ferritic/martensitic steel EUROFER97 are promising candidates for a fusion reactor because of their improved high temperature mechanical properties and their potential higher radiation resistance relative to the base material. Several EUROFER97 based ODS F/M steels are investigated in this study. There are the Plansee ODS steels containing 0.3 wt% yttria, and the CRPP ODS steels, whose production route is described in detail. The reinforcing particles represent 0.3-0.5% weight and are composed of yttria. The effect of 0.3 wt% Ti addition is studied. ODS steel samples have been irradiated with 590 MeV protons to 0.3 and 1.0 dpa at room temperature and 350 degrees C. Microstructure is investigated by transmission electron microscopy and mechanical properties are assessed by tensile and Charpy tests. While the Plansee ODS presents a ferritic structure, the CRPP ODS material presents a tempered martensitic microstructure and a uniform distribution of the yttria particles. Both materials provide a yield stress higher than the base material, but with reduced elongation and brittle behaviour. Ti additions improve elongation at high temperatures. After irradiation, mechanical properties of the material are only slightly altered with an increase in the yield strength, but without significant decrease in the total elongation, relative to the base material. Samples irradiated at room temperature present radiation induced defects in the form of blacks dots with a size range from 2 to 3 nm, while after irradiation at 350 degrees C irradiation induced a(0)(100){100} dislocation loops are clearly visible along with nanocavities. The dispersed yttria particles with an average size of 6-8 nm are found to be stable for all irradiation conditions. The density of the defects and the dispersoid are measured and found to be about 2.3 x 10(22) m(-3) and 6.2 x 10(22) m(-3), respectively. The weak impact of irradiation on mechanical properties of ODS F/M steel is thus explained by a lower density of irradiation induced defects relative to the density of reinforcing particles. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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