The microstructures and the hardness of stainless steel weld overlay cladding of reactor pressure vessels subjected to neutron irradiation at a dose of 7.2 × 1019 n cm-2 (E > 1 MeV) and a flux of 1.1 × 1013 n cm-2 s-1 at 290 °C were investigated by atom probe tomography and by a nanoindentation technique. To isolate the effects of the neutron irradiation, we compared the results of the measurements of the neutron-irradiated samples with those from a sample aged at 300 °C for a duration equivalent to that of the irradiation. The Cr concentration fluctuation was enhanced in the δ-ferrite phase of the irradiated sample. In addition, enhancement of the concentration fluctuation of Si, which was not observed in the aged sample, was observed. The hardening in the δ-ferrite phase occurred due to both irradiation and aging; however, the hardening of the irradiated sample was more than that expected from the Cr concentration fluctuation, which suggested that the Si concentration fluctuation and irradiation-induced defects were possible origins of the additional hardening.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Materials Science(all)