Deformation behavior of laser welds in high temperature oxidation resistant Fe-Cr-Al alloys for fuel cladding applications


Ferritic-structured Fe-Cr-Al alloys are being developed and show promise as oxidation resistant accident tolerant light water reactor fuel cladding. This study focuses on investigating the weldability and post-weld mechanical behavior of three model alloys in a range of Fe-(13-17.5)Cr-(3-4.4)Al (wt.%) with a minor addition of yttrium using modern laser-welding techniques. A detailed study on the mechanical performance of bead-on-plate welds using sub-sized, flat dog-bone tensile specimens and digital image correlation (DIC) has been carried out to determine the performance of welds as a function of alloy composition. Results indicated a reduction in the yield strength within the fusion zone compared to the base metal. Yield strength reduction was found to be primarily constrained to the fusion zone due to grain coarsening with a less severe reduction in the heat affected zone. For all proposed alloys, laser welding resulted in a defect free weld devoid of cracking or inclusions.

In: Journal of Nuclear Materials, (454), 1-3, pp. 352–358,