Carbon Contamination, Its Consequences and Its Mitigation in Ion-Simulation of Neutron-Induced Swelling of Structural Metals

  • Lin ShaoEmail author
  • Jonathan Gigax
  • Hyosim Kim
  • Frank A. Garner
  • Jing Wang
  • Mychailo B. Toloczko
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


Neutron-induced swelling in austenitic and ferritic steels is sensitive to the carbon level in the steel, as well as its distribution in matrix or precipitates. It has recently become known that ion-irradiation to high dpa levels leads to a progressive ion-beam-induced increase in carbon concentration and precipitation within the ion range, with concurrent reductions in void swelling. This neutron-atypical phenomenon imperils the credibility of ion simulation for light water reactor applications. A series of experiments involving pure iron and a structural alloy HT9, were conducted to identify the source and distribution of injected carbon. It was found that negatively-charged carbon atoms are entrained in the self-ion beam by a Coulomb drag effect, and thereby delivered at low drift energy to the irradiated surface, followed by ion-beam-mixing and diffusion. A technique for filtering out contaminants, especially carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, was developed and resulted in higher, more neutron-relevant swelling levels than achieved without filtering.


Swelling Ion irradiation Carbon contamination 



The study is supported by US Department of Energy, NEUP program, through grant no. DE-NE0008297.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lin Shao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jonathan Gigax
    • 1
  • Hyosim Kim
    • 1
  • Frank A. Garner
    • 1
  • Jing Wang
    • 2
  • Mychailo B. Toloczko
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryRichlandUSA

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