Welding-induced mechanical properties in austenitic stainless steels before and after neutron irradiation
The effects of neutron irradiation on the mechanical properties of welded joints made of austenitic stainless steels have been investigated. The materials are welded AISI 304 and AISI 347, so-called test weld materials, irradiated with neutrons at 573 K to doses of 0.3 and 1.0 dpa. In addition, an AISI 304 from a decommissioned pressurised water reactor, so-called in-service material, which had accumulated a maximum dose of 0.35 dpa at about 573 K, was investigated. The mechanical properties of heat-affected zones and base materials were analysed before and after irradiation. Tensile parameters were determined at room temperature and at 573 K, for all materials and irradiation conditions. In the test weld materials it is found that radiation hardening is lower and loss of ductility is higher in the heat-affected zone than in the base material. In the in-service material radiation hardening is about the same in heat-affected zone and base material. After irradiation, deformation takes place by stacking faults and twins, at both room temperature and high temperature, contrary to un-irradiated materials, where deformation takes place by twinning at room temperature and by dislocation cells at high temperature. No defect free channels are observed. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.