Effect of vanadium addition on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the ODS ferritic steels
In this work, the effects of vanadium addition in the range of 0.3-3% (in weight percent) for an oxide dispersion strengthened reduced activation ferritic (ODS RAF) steel were investigated. Samples of the V-modified steel have been prepared using elemental (Fe, Cr, W, Ti) and Y2O3 powders with the nominal composition of Fe-14Cr-2W-0.3Ti-0.3Y(2)O(3). Consolidated and heat treated samples were investigated using Scanning Electron Microscopy and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy equipped with Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy detector. Hardness and Charpy impact tests (KLST specimens) were also performed. The microstructure investigations revealed numerous particles of the size up to 0.5 mu m. They are primarily Ti-Cr-V oxides located at the grain boundaries and inside the grains. These particles increase hardness and significantly reduce fracture resistance of the ODS RAF alloys developed here. However, it should be noted that the 0.3% V-ODS steel has unexpectedly the lowest transition temperature of about 282 K and that the 1-3% V-ODS steels, in spite of the transition temperature about 373 K, exhibit almost two times higher the lower shelf energy values in comparison with the 0.3% V-ODS and 0% V-ODS steels. (C) 2012 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.