Microstructural evolution of welded stainless steels on integrated effect of thermal aging and low flux irradiation
Paper in proceedings, 2019
The combined effect of thermal aging and irradiation on cast and welded stainless steel solidification structures is not sufficiently investigated. From theory and consecutive aging and irradiation experiments, the effect of simultaneous low rate irradiation and thermal aging is expected to accelerate and modify the aging processes of the ferrite phase. Here, a detailed analysis of long-term aged material at very low fast neutron flux at LWR operating temperatures using Atom Probe Tomography is presented. Samples of weld material from various positions in the core barrel of the Zorita PWR are examined. The welds have been exposed to 280–285 °C for 38 years at three different neutron fluxes between 1 × 10 −5 and 7 × 10 −7 dpa/h to a total dose of 0.15–2 dpa. The aging of the ferrite phase occurs by spinodal decomposition, clustering and precipitation of e.g. G-phase. These phenomena are characterized and quantitatively analyzed in order to understand the effect of flux in combination with thermal aging.