Effect of irradiation on the microstructure and the mechanical properties of oxide dispersion strengthened low activation ferritic/martensitic steel
Ferritic/martensitic (F/M) steels show good resistance to swelling and low damage accumulation upon irradiation relative to stainless steels. 0.3 wt% yttria particles were added to the F/M steel EUROFER 97 to produce oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) steel, to increase the operating temperature as well as mechanical strength. ODS EUROFER 97 was irradiated in the PIREX facility with 590 MeV protons to 0.3, 1 and 2 dpa at 40 degrees C. Microstructure of the irradiated samples is analyzed in the transmission electron microscope using bright field, dark field and weak beam conditions. The presence of voids and dislocation loops is observed for the higher doses, where as at low dose (0.3 dpa) only small defects with sizes of 1-3 nm are observed as black dots. The relationship between the defect density to dispersoids is measured and the Burgers' vector of dislocation loops is analyzed. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.