Mechanical properties of neutron-irradiated model and commercial FeCrAl alloys


The development and understanding of the mechanical properties of neutron-irradiated FeCrAl alloys is increasingly a critical need as these alloys continue to become more mature for nuclear reactor applications. This study focuses on the mechanical properties of model FeCrAl alloys and of a commercial FeCrAl alloy neutron-irradiated to up to 13.8 displacements per atom (dpa) at irradiation temperatures between 320 and 382 °C. Tensile tests were completed at room temperature and at 320 °C, and a subset of fractured tensile specimens was examined by scanning electron microscopy. Results showed typical radiation hardening and embrittlement indicative of high chromium ferritic alloys with strong chromium composition dependencies at lower doses. At and above 7.0 dpa, the mechanical properties saturated for both the commercial and model FeCrAl alloys, although brittle cleavage fracture was observed at the highest dose in the model FeCrAl alloy with the highest chromium content (18 wt %). The results suggest the composition and microstructure of FeCrAl alloys plays a critical role in the mechanical response of FeCrAl alloys irradiated near temperatures relevant to light water reactors.

In: Journal of Nuclear Materials, (489), pp. 118–128,