Microstructural evolution of neutron-irradiated T91 and NF616 to ∼4.3 dpa at 469 °C


Ferritic-martensitic steels such as T91 and NF616 are candidate materials for several nuclear applications. This study evaluates radiation resistance of T91 and NF616 by examining their microstructural evolutions and hardening after the samples were irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor to ∼4.3 displacements per atom (dpa) at an as-run temperature of 469 °C. In general, this irradiation did not result in significant difference in the radiation-induced microstructures between the two steels. Compared to NF616, T91 had a higher number density of dislocation loops and a lower level of radiation-induced segregation, together with a slightly higher radiation-hardening. Unlike dislocation loops developed in both steels, radiation-induced cavities were only observed in T91 but remained small with sub-10 nm sizes. Other than the relatively stable M23C6, a new phase (likely Sigma phase) was observed in T91 and radiation-enhanced MX → Z phase transformation was identified in NF616. Laves phase was not observed in the samples.

In: Journal of Nuclear Materials, (493), pp. 12–20, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.05.041