Microstructure and mechanical properties of an ODS RAF steel fabricated by hot extrusion or hot isostatic pressing
Ingots of an oxide dispersion strengthened reduced activation ferritic steel with the Fe-14Cr-2W-0.3Ti-0.3Y(2)O(3) chemical composition (in wt.%) were synthesized by mechanical alloying of elemental powders with 0.3 wt.% Y2O3 particles in a planetary ball mill, in a hydrogen atmosphere. and compacted by either hot extrusion or hot isostatic pressing. The microstructures of the obtained materials were characterized by means of light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and chemical analyses. The mechanical properties were evaluated by means of Vickers microhardness measurements and tensile tests. It was found that the microstructure of both materials is composed of ferritic grains having a submicron size and containing nanometric Y-Ti-O oxide particles with a mean size of about 10 nm, uniformly distributed in the matrix. The oxide particles in the hot extruded steel were identified as YTiO3 phase. In larger (>10 nm) oxide particles Cr was found next to Ti, Y and O. The steel produced by hot extrusion exhibits much higher tensile strength and hardness at low to moderate temperatures, as compared to the steel fabricated by hot isostatic pressing, which was mainly attributed to smaller pores but also to more severe work hardening in the case of the hot extruded steel. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.