Post-irradiation annealing (PIA) behavior of irradiation-induced microstructural changes and hardening of an A533B (0.16 wt.% Cu) steel after neutron-irradiation of 3.9 × 10 19 n cm -2 (0.061 displacement per atom (dpa)) at 290 °C was studied by positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS), atom probe tomography (APT) and Vickers microhardness measurements. Coincidence Doppler broadening and positron lifetime measurements clearly reveal two recovery stages; (i) as-irradiated state to annealing at 450°C and (ii) annealing from 450 to 600°C. The first stage is due to annealing out of the most of irradiation-induced vacancy-related defects, while the second stage corresponds to dissolving of irradiation-induced solute nanoclusters (SCs). APT observations reveal that the SCs are enriched with Cu, Mn, Ni and Si and that their number densities decrease with increasing annealing temperature without coarsening to give almost complete recovery at 550°C. The experimental hardening is almost twice the SC hardening estimated by the Russell-Brown model below 350°C, whereas it is almost the same as that estimated in the range 400-550°C.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering