Journal article

Characterization of Irradiation Damage of Ferritic ODS Alloys with Advanced Micro-Sample Methods

Oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) steels are candidate materials for advanced electric energy and heat generation plants (nuclear, fossil). Understanding the degradation of mechanical properties of these alloys as a result of service exposure is necessary for safe design. For advanced nuclear applications combinations of temperature, irradiation and stress are important damage conditions. They are studied either with neutron irradiated samples (often highly active) or with ion-irradiated samples (irradiation damage often limited to only a few micrometer deep areas). High activity of samples and limited sample volume claim to subsized samples like nano-indentation, micro-pillar compression or thin strip creep testing. Irradiation hardening and irradiation creep were studied with these methods. Ferritic ODS steels with 19% chromium were investigated. The materials were studied in qualities differing in grain sizes and in sizes of the dispersoids. Irradiation was performed in an accelerator using He-ions. Irradiation damage profiles could be well analyzed with indentation. Yield stress determined with compression tests of single-crystal micropillars was well comparable with tension tests performed along the same crystallographic orientation. Irradiation creep of samples with different sizes of dispersoids revealed only a small influence of particle size being is in contrast with thermal creep but consistent with expectations from other investigations.


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