Silicon carbide (SiC) matrix composites reinforced by SiC fibers is a candidate structural material of fusion gas-cooled blanket system. From the viewpoint of material designs, it is important to investigate the swelling by irradiation, which results from the accumulation of displacement damages. In the fusion environment, (n, a) nuclear reactions are considered to produce helium gas in SiC. For the microstructural evolution, a dual-ion irradiation method is able to simulate the effects of helium. In the present research, 1.7 MeV tandem and 1 MeV single-end accelerators were used for Si self-ion irradiation and helium implantation, respectively. The average helium over displacement per atom (dpa) ratio in SiC was adjusted to 60 appm/dpa. The irradiation temperature ranged from room temperature to 1400°C. The irradiation-induced swelling was measured by the step height method. Helium that was implanted simultaneously with displacement damages in dual-ion irradiated SiC increased the swelling that was larger than that by single-ion irradiated SiC below 800°C. Since this increase was not observed above 1000°C, the interaction of helium and displacement damages was considered to change above 800°C. In this paper, the microstructural behavior and dimensional stability of SiC materials under the fusion relevant environment are discussed.
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