Evaluation of post-weld heat treatments applied to FeCrAl alloy weldments


The nuclear incident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has created a strong push for accident-tolerant fuel cladding to replace current zirconium-based cladding. A current near-term focus on iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloys. Laser-welded FeCrAl samples (C35MN, C37M, and C35M10 TC) were subjected to three different post-weld heat treatment regimes: 650 °C for 5 h, 850 °C for 1 h, and 850 °C for 5 h. The samples were then analyzed using optical light microscopy, micro-hardness indentation, and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive spectroscopy and electron backscatter diffraction. The base microstructure of C37M and C35M10 TC experienced significant grain coarsening outside the fusion zone due to the applied post-weld heat treatments, whereas Nb-rich precipitation in C35MN limited grain growth compared with the other alloys studied.

In: Journal of Nuclear Materials, (515), pp. 160–169, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2018.12.027