Dependence on grain boundary structure of radiation induced segregation in a 9 wt.\% Cr model ferritic/martensitic steel


Ferritic/Martensitic (F/M) steels containing 9 wt.% Cr are candidates for structural and cladding components in the next generation of advanced nuclear fission and fusion reactors. Although it is known these alloys exhibit radiation-induced segregation (RIS) at grain boundaries (GBs) while in-service, little is known about the mechanism behind RIS in F/M steels. The classical understanding of RIS in F/M steels presents a mechanism where point defects migrate to GBs acting as perfect sinks. However, variation in grain boundary structure may influence the sink efficiency and these migration processes. A proton irradiated 9 wt.% Cr model alloy steel was investigated using STEM/EDS spectrum imaging and GB misorientation analysis to determine the role of GB structure on RIS at different GBs. An ab initio based rate theory model was developed and compared to the experimental findings. This investigation found Cr preferentially segregates to specific GB structures. The preferential segregation to specific GB structures suggests GB structure plays a key role in the mechanism behind radiation-induced segregation, showing that not all grain boundaries in F/M steels act as perfect sinks. The study also found how irradiation dose and temperature impact the radiation-induced segregation response in F/M steels. \textcopyright 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

In: Journal of Nuclear Materials, (435), 1-3, pp. 172–180,