Study of Microstructure and Irradiation Damages in Metals and Alloys

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701). This special issue belongs to the section "Metal Failure Analysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2022) | Viewed by 9682

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Liping Guo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Physical Science and Technology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
Interests: material radiation damage; material defects and properties
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Development of advanced nuclear systems including fusion reactors, generation-four fission reactors, accelerator-driven subcritical nuclear systems, accident-tolerant fuel reactors et al. calls for irradiation-resistant materials. Under the irradiation environments of the nuclear systems, severe damage may occur in the structural materials, mainly metals and alloys, which would degrade the mechanical property and/or accelerate corrosion behavior. Irradiation induced various kinds of defects including dislocation loops, cavities and precipitates, as well as bubbles formed by transmutation-induced or injected helium and hydrogen (or deuterium/ tritium). Investigation on the mechanism of defect evolution and on the response of different structure to irradiation condition is of great importance for understanding the irradiation behavior and promoting the development of advanced irradiation-resistant materials.

In this Special Issue, we seek a wide set of articles on various aspects of microstructure and irradiation damage of metals and alloys. The idea is to show how various irradiation parameters affect the formation and evolution of defects, and how various structures of metals and alloys response to irradiations. Articles on irradiation damage including characterization of irradiation-induced defects,computer simulation on the mechanism and evolution of defects, and effect of irradiation defects on mechanical properties, are welcome. Articles employing but are not limited to electron microscopy, positron annihilation spectrum, small-angle x-ray/neutron diffraction, x-ray absorption spectroscopy and other experimental characterization methods, as well as first-principles calculation, molecular dynamics simulation, kinetic Monte Carlo simulation, cluster dynamics simulation, rate theory simulation and other simulation methods to investigate neutron/ion-beam/electron-beam irradiation of metals and alloys are all welcome.

Prof. Dr. Liping Guo
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • irradiation damage
  • dislocation loops
  • irradiation swelling
  • voids
  • irradiation hardening
  • bubbles
  • helium
  • computer simulation
  • electron microscopy

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 9220 KiB  
Article
Ion Irradiation Defects and Hardening in FeCrAl Alloy
Metals 2022, 12(10), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/met12101645 - 30 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1246
Abstract
The self-ion irradiation experiments of FeCrAl and Y−FeCrAl alloys are carried out at 330 °C to 1–10 displacements per atom (dpa). The formation of dislocation loops in these alloys is investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and nano-indentation tests are used to assess [...] Read more.
The self-ion irradiation experiments of FeCrAl and Y−FeCrAl alloys are carried out at 330 °C to 1–10 displacements per atom (dpa). The formation of dislocation loops in these alloys is investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and nano-indentation tests are used to assess the irradiation hardening. A large number of dislocation loops are formed after irradiation, and dislocation network gradually develops above 2.5 dpa. The average size of dislocation loops increases while the number density decreases when the dose was increased. In comparison to a/2<111> dislocation loops, a<100> dislocation loops have a larger average size and higher proportion. Higher temperatures and dose rate can increase the proportion of a<100> dislocation loops. As the dose is increasing, irradiation hardening increases. The addition of yttrium increases the proportion of a<100> dislocation loops and reduces the irradiation hardening due to the high binding energy between yttrium atom and vacancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of Microstructure and Irradiation Damages in Metals and Alloys)
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10 pages, 2470 KiB  
Article
Effect of Damage Rate on the Cavity Swelling of Pure Nickel Irradiated with Triple Ion Beams
Metals 2022, 12(7), 1106; https://doi.org/10.3390/met12071106 - 28 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1310
Abstract
He-H synergistic effects influence the performance of structural materials in fusion reactors. Due to the lack of high-intensity fusion neutron sources, multiple ion beam irradiation has been widely used as an emulation method to study its synergistic effects. However, the damage rate under [...] Read more.
He-H synergistic effects influence the performance of structural materials in fusion reactors. Due to the lack of high-intensity fusion neutron sources, multiple ion beam irradiation has been widely used as an emulation method to study its synergistic effects. However, the damage rate under multiple ion beam irradiation is three to four orders of magnitude higher than that under fusion neutron irradiation, and its effect on the cavity swelling is still unclear. In this study, pure nickel was irradiated with single and triple ion beams to ~1 displacements per atom (dpa) at 450 °C. The damage rate ranged from 1.4 × 10−4 to 1.4 × 10−3 dpa/s, with the identical gas-dose ratios of ~400 H appm/dpa and 100 He appm/dpa. Large and isolated cavities formed under single ion irradiation, while triple ion irradiation induced smaller and denser cavities and higher swelling. As the damage rate increased, the cavity size, density, and swelling decreased, due to the constraint of cavity nucleation and growth processes. The effect of damage rate on cavity evolution under triple ion irradiation strongly depends on two competing factors: the enhancement of aggregation and binding of H/He/vacancies, and the enhancement of vacancies–interstitials recombination with increasing damage rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of Microstructure and Irradiation Damages in Metals and Alloys)
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9 pages, 2534 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Interaction between Dislocation and Irradiation-Induced Defects in Stainless Steels during Tensile Deformation
Metals 2022, 12(5), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/met12050762 - 29 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1241
Abstract
A series of in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations during tensile deformation were conducted on the ion-irradiated stainless steel. The jerky motion of dislocations appeared, and dislocations were pinned and depinned at the defects through the in-situ TEM observation. The jump distance traveled [...] Read more.
A series of in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations during tensile deformation were conducted on the ion-irradiated stainless steel. The jerky motion of dislocations appeared, and dislocations were pinned and depinned at the defects through the in-situ TEM observation. The jump distance traveled by dislocation was measured and discussed as the mean interval of defects interacting with the dislocation motion. Microstructural information of irradiation defects such as obstacle interval was obtained by TEM and atom probe tomography (APT), and the type of pinning site was identified. It was found that Frank loops and black dots were irradiation defects that strongly interacted with dislocations. It was suggested that solute atom clusters act as weak obstacles for dislocations in the dynamic interaction behavior with dislocation motion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of Microstructure and Irradiation Damages in Metals and Alloys)
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16 pages, 3965 KiB  
Article
Predicting the Irradiation Swelling of Austenitic and Ferritic/Martensitic Steels, Based on the Coupled Model of Machine Learning and Rate Theory
Metals 2022, 12(4), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/met12040651 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1288
Abstract
As nuclear structural materials, austenitic and ferritic/martensitic (F/M) steels will face inevitable irradiation swelling when fulfilling a role in nuclear reactors, especially under high-dose irradiation. For this work, a coupled machine learning rate theory (ML-RT) model for the swelling of austenitic and F/M [...] Read more.
As nuclear structural materials, austenitic and ferritic/martensitic (F/M) steels will face inevitable irradiation swelling when fulfilling a role in nuclear reactors, especially under high-dose irradiation. For this work, a coupled machine learning rate theory (ML-RT) model for the swelling of austenitic and F/M steels was developed. In this model, ML was introduced to predict the steady-state irradiation swelling onset dose (Donset), while the improved RT was developed to simulate the swelling behavior after the incubation period. More than 200 series of data on the Donset of different structures of steel were collected for the ML prediction. The coefficient of determination (R) of the results in ML is more than 0.9. In the RT, the evolutions of the dislocation loop and void were described and calculated rather than using the fitting parameters. Cascade efficiency was employed to describe the cascade process. The coupled ML-RT model was verified with the swelling data from neutron irradiation experiments for various steels. The theoretical results of the swelling peak temperatures and swelling behavior are more accurate and reasonable, compared with those from the previous RT model. Using the ML-RT model, the swelling performance of CLAM steel under neutron irradiation of up to 180 dpa was predicted. The differences between the swelling performance of austenitic steels and F/M steels were analyzed and the differences were mainly associated with the bias. These results will be helpful for evaluating the neutron irradiation swelling behavior of candidate structural materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of Microstructure and Irradiation Damages in Metals and Alloys)
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13 pages, 5836 KiB  
Article
Microstructure Characterization and Small Punch Test Analysis in Nickel-Based Alloy 617 by High Energy Neon Implantation
Metals 2022, 12(3), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/met12030438 - 02 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1587
Abstract
Nickel-based alloys are good candidate structural materials for ultra-high temperature gas-cooled reactors due to their excellent mechanical properties under high-temperature conditions. The operating environment in the compact high-temperature gas-cooled reactor proposes more stringent requirements with higher displacement and temperatures higher than 700 °C. [...] Read more.
Nickel-based alloys are good candidate structural materials for ultra-high temperature gas-cooled reactors due to their excellent mechanical properties under high-temperature conditions. The operating environment in the compact high-temperature gas-cooled reactor proposes more stringent requirements with higher displacement and temperatures higher than 700 °C. The irradiation resistance of nickel-based alloy 617 is evaluated by 120 MeV neon ion irradiation. The neon ion fluence is set with reference to the number of helium atoms generated by the reaction of (n, α) in nickel-based alloy under actual service conditions. With the application of an energy gradient degrader, the irradiation damage area is more uniform with increasing depth. The neon ion irradiation causes no significant surface damage to alloy 617 while the evolution of defects such as inherent dislocation lines is affected, thus leading to the deterioration of mechanical properties. By using the small punch test to analyze the irradiation effects, it is found that the neon ion irradiation results in the tendency of irradiation softening and does not lead to changes in the basic fracture characteristics under different annealing conditions. After annealing at 700 and 800 °C for 2 h, the irradiation embrittlement trend is intensified, with the fracture characteristic values of irradiated samples showing a more obvious decreasing trend. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of Microstructure and Irradiation Damages in Metals and Alloys)
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11 pages, 1018 KiB  
Article
A Model for Dose Dependence of the Void Swelling in Electron-Irradiated Alloys
Metals 2022, 12(2), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/met12020244 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2296
Abstract
Understanding the void swelling dependence on irradiation dose for structural materials is critical for the design and operation of advanced nuclear reactors. Due to their easy accessibility in high-voltage transmission electron microscopes, electron beams have been frequently employed to investigate the void swelling [...] Read more.
Understanding the void swelling dependence on irradiation dose for structural materials is critical for the design and operation of advanced nuclear reactors. Due to their easy accessibility in high-voltage transmission electron microscopes, electron beams have been frequently employed to investigate the void swelling mechanisms. Here, we build a general model to describe the radiation-induced swelling produced by energetic electrons. Based on this model, we develop a quantitative relation between void swelling and irradiation dose, which is in good agreement with experimental data. By extrapolating to high-dose swelling in electron-irradiated alloys, our model validation is consistent with available experiments. Furthermore, the model is well supported by our phase-field simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of Microstructure and Irradiation Damages in Metals and Alloys)
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