The effect of thermal aging on microstructural changes in stainless steel submerged arc weld-overlay cladding of reactor pressure vessels was investigated using atom probe tomography (APT). In as-received materials subjected to post-welding heat treatments (PWHTs), with a subsequent furnace cooling, a slight fluctuation of the Cr concentration was observed due to spinodal decomposition in the δ-ferrite phase but not in the austenitic phase. Thermal aging at 400°C for 10,000 h caused not only an increase in the amplitude of spinodal decomposition but also the precipitation of G phases with composition ratios of Ni:Si:Mn = 16:7:6 in the δ-ferrite phase. The degree of the spinodal decomposition in the submerged arc weld sample was similar to that in the electroslag weld one reported previously. We also observed a carbide on the γ-austenite and δ-ferrite interface. There were no Cr depleted zones around the carbide.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering