Evaluation of Additively Manufactured Materials for Nuclear Plant Components
Powder bed fusion Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) is an evolving additive manufacturing (AM) fabrication technology that is providing high performance parts to many industries. This technology has significant promise for use in building components for nuclear power plants. Implementation of materials produced using this and similar processes offer a potential step change in efficiency for complex parts production and hence a potential for innovative design as well as cost savings for components in the future. Properties of AM Type 316L have been reported in previous work, showing properties that match wrought properties. The fine grain structure may even lead to better environmental resistance. However, there is a need to confirm the behavior of these innovative materials after exposure to radiation if this innovative technology is to be used in current and future nuclear applications. This paper discusses new efforts being explored via a joint program between GE Hitachi (GEH) and INL (Idaho National laboratory) aimed at developing corresponding un-irradiated and irradiated data for AM materials. This paper will present data for both Type 316L stainless steel, a single-phase alloy, and Ni-base Alloy 718, a precipitation hardened alloy, manufactured using AM. This paper, serving as a progress report, will present the mechanical property and microstructural data for both Type 316L and 718 AM alloys to assess their correspondence to wrought alloy data and establish a baseline for future comparison to irradiated properties. The paper will end by discussing the requirements for using these and other additively manufactured materials in future reactor component applications where irradiated data is not available.
KeywordsAdditive DMLM Powder bed
Significant technical contributions to this program were made by Xiaoyuan Lou and Felipe Betancor.
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