Research Papers

Combined Effect of Irradiation and Temperature on the Mechanical Strength of Inconel 800H and AISI 310 Alloys for In-Core Components of a Gen-IV SCWR

[+] Author and Article Information
Robert J. Klassen

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
University of Western Ontario,
1151 Richmond Street, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
e-mail: rjklasse@uwo.ca

Heygaan Rajakumar

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering,
University of Western Ontario,
1151 Richmond Street, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
e-mail: hrajakum@uwo.ca

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received May 7, 2015; final manuscript received June 24, 2015; published online February 29, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Thomas Schulenberg.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 2(2), 021006 (Feb 29, 2016) (6 pages) Paper No: NERS-15-1076; doi: 10.1115/1.4031015 History: Received May 07, 2015; Accepted July 07, 2015

Inconel 800H and AISI 310 alloy samples were exposed to Fe4+ ions to simulate neutron irradiation damage, and then annealed at 400°C and 500°C to study the kinetics of thermal recovery of the irradiation damage. The increase in hardness with ion irradiation and the decrease in hardness due to thermal recovery were recorded. Our findings suggest that under thermal and neutron irradiation conditions envisaged for the Canadian Gen-IV SCWR concept, both alloys will experience significant irradiation hardening; however, this will be concurrently negated by even more rapid thermal recovery of the irradiation damage.

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Fig. 1

Micrographs of the etched surfaces of (a) AISI 310 and (b) Inconel 800H

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Fig. 2

SRIM simulation of the penetration of 8.0  MeV Fe4+ ions into the AISI 310 alloy: (a) The simulated ion trajectories. (b) The calculated number of ion/atom collisions per Angstrom travelled by the ion as a function of penetration depth. The maximum ion irradiation damage occurs at a depth between 1 and 2 μm.

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Fig. 3

Indentation force versus depth from multiple tests performed on the AISI 310 alloy in the nonirradiated and the ion-irradiated (8 dpa) conditions. The data from the partial unloading were removed from this graph to display more clearly the force–depth trend.

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Fig. 4

Indentation hardness versus depth for (a) the AISI 310 alloy in the nonirradiated and the ion-irradiated (8 dpa) conditions and (b) the Inconel 800H alloy in the nonirradiated and the ion-irradiated (15 dpa) conditions. Each series of data was obtained from a single indentation test involving multiple unloading; therefore, the data points do not represent the average hardness values for any indentation depth. Average hardness values are shown in Fig. 6.

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Fig. 5

Schematic illustration of an indentation and its associated hemispherical plastic zone of radius c. In our study, the indentations must be made at a small enough depth that c is less than the ion-irradiation depth.

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Fig. 6

Average indentation hardness versus Fe4+ ion irradiation damage for the AISI 310 and Inconel 800H alloys. The 200-nm deep indentations (a) show increased hardness compared to the 400-nm deep indentations (b) because of the indentation depth dependence of the hardness shown in Fig. 4 and discussed in Section 3.1.

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Fig. 7

Average indentation hardness, for indentation depth of 200 nm, versus 400°C annealing time for (a) AISI 310 and (b) Inconel 800H samples. The solid curves indicated power-law functions of time that were fitted to the data and were used to calculate the critical time tc for complete recovery of the irradiation hardening.

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Fig. 8

Time tc required to completely recover the irradiation hardness, by annealing at 400°C or 500°C, of the AISI 310 and Inconel 800H alloys versus dpa



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