Two kinds of 9Cr–2W steels with and without the addition of 0.1 wt% Si were irradiated with neutrons up to a fluence of 4.8 × 10 23 n/m 2 at 563 K. Precipitates, dislocation loops, radiation-enhanced nano-clusters and radiation-hardening were studied using advanced electron microscopy and micro-hardness test. Si reduced the number density of dislocation loops, and therefore the extent of radiation-hardening decreased. It also favored the formation of silicide-like nano-clusters. In this study, the role of Si in neutron irradiated 9Cr–2W steels is discussed, and then extended to nano-clusters and irradiation-hardening.
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