Solute Clustering in As-irradiated and Post-irradiation-Annealed 304 Stainless Steel
A commercial purity 304SS was irradiated to 5 dpa Kinchin-Pease (10 dpa full-cascade) using 2 meV protons at 360 °C. Post-irradiation annealing (PIA) was applied to reduce or remove IASCC susceptibility. This paper focuses on the links between irradiation-induced hardening and irradiated microstructures of the as-irradiated and PIA conditions; the irradiated microstructure is assessed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT). Dislocation loops, Ni–Si clusters, and Cu-enriched clusters are present in the as-irradiated condition. When the dislocation loops are removed by PIA, ~40% of the as-irradiated hardness remains and can be rationally attributed to the solute clusters still present in the PIA microstructure. The observations indicate that hardening in the as-irradiated condition is controlled by both dislocation loops and solute clusters and suggest that radiation-induced solute clusters may be important to detailed understanding of IASCC (irradiation-assisted stress corrosion cracking).
KeywordsIASCC Irradiated stainless steel Solute clusters Dislocation loops Hardness Atom probe tomography
The work presented in this paper was funded by the Electric Power Research Institute.
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