Microstructural stability of ODS steels in cyclic loading
The remarkable microstructural stability of high chromium steels prepared by powder metallurgy and strengthened by dispersion of nanometric yttrium oxides in cyclic loading at high temperatures is reported. Contrary to the continuous cyclic softening and profound changes in the microstructure during fatigue of common high chromium steels, the addition of 0.3wt% Y2O3 stabilizes the microstructure and significantly reduces cyclic softening of investigated steels. The evolution of microstructure as a result of fatigue loading at room temperature, 650 and 750 degrees C, was examined by means of transmission electron microscopy. Only minor changes in the microstructure were detected. The stability of oxide particles after high-temperature exposure was confirmed by energy dispersion spectroscopy chemical analysis. The microstructural features are discussed in relation to the cyclic behaviour of the oxide dispersion strengthened steels. The analysis of the hysteresis loop indicates that oxide nanoclusters are intersected and dissolved in slip bands of ODS Eurofer steel. This process contributes to cyclic softening.