Radiation-Induced Precipitates in a Self-ion Irradiated Cold-Worked 316 Austenitic Stainless Steel Used for PWR Baffle-Bolts
5 meV Ni++ and Fe++ ion irradiations were performed to investigate radiation-induced precipitates evolution in a cold-worked 316 austenitic stainless steel at high doses and temperatures. The irradiation conditions were 23 dpa at 380 °C, 130 dpa at 380 °C, 23 dpa at 500 °C, and 15 dpa at 600 °C. TEM selected electron diffraction (SAED), TEM dark-field imaging and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) mapping were used as complementary techniques to determine crystallography, morphology and chemical composition of radiation-induced precipitates. The precipitates were predominantly in form of the Ni–Si rich γ′ phase at all irradiation conditions. The EDS analysis further determined Ni–Si–Mo–P and Ni–Si–Mn rich precipitates after irradiation at 380 and 600 °C, respectively. The precipitates were found close to saturated state between 23 and 130 dpa at 380 °C irradiation conditions. A different effect of higher irradiation temperatures was found between 500 and 600 °C. In case of the irradiation to 23 dpa at 500 °C, the average size of precipitates was similar to irradiations at 380 °C, but the density was lower. However, the precipitates revealed large size and very low density following the irradiation to 15 dpa at 600 °C. The original dislocation network introduced by cold-working was found as dominant sink for intra-granular solute radiation-induced segregation (RIS) and possibly took place as primary nucleation site of radiation-induced precipitates at irradiation temperatures 380 and 500 °C. At the temperature 600 °C, the RIS at dislocation network almost vanished and the main nucleation sites became twin boundaries as more energetically favorable intra-granular sinks.
KeywordsRadiation-induced damage Neutron irradiation Self-ion irradiation Austenitic stainless steels PWR Baffle-bolts TEM EDS
The authors gratefully acknowledge Drs. Ovidiu Toader and Fabian Naab for their assistance in conducting the self-ion irradiations, Drs. Steve Bruemmer and Dan Edwards for providing EPRI reports and valuable comments, and Dr. Ondrej Man for help with FIB sample preparation. The research could be performed thanks to support of facilities provided by the Michigan Ion Beam Laboratory and the Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory at University of Michigan, the CEITEC Nano Research Infrastructure at Brno University of Technology [MEYS CR (ID LM2015041)], the Tescan Orsay Holding in Brno [MIT CR (4.2 PT03/586)], and the Institute of Materials of Czech Academy of Science in Brno [MEYS CR (No. LM2015069)]. Financial support was provided by DOE under contract DE-FG07-07ID14894.
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