Deconvoluting the Effect of Chromium and Aluminum on the Radiation Response of Wrought FeCrAl Alloys After Low-Dose Neutron Irradiation


FeCrAl alloys have been extensively investigated over the past decade as a candidate material for accident-tolerant fuel cladding in light water reactors. This work completes a first of its kind study where Al and Cr concentrations are varied systematically under neutron irradiation to elucidate the post irradiation microstructural and mechanical response as a direct result of alloying content. Neutron irradiations were performed on alloys with composition Fe-(10-13)Cr-(5-7)Al in wt.% at temperatures of 214, 357, and 557°C to a dose of 1.8 dpa (displacements per atom). Dislocation loop sizes and dispersion characteristics did not show strong compositional dependence. However, there were noticeable effects of composition on the dispersion of Cr-rich α′-precipitates, particularly a decrease in number density with increasing Al content or a decrease in Cr content. The present results confirm previous studies indicating the Cr concentration in these precipitates is lower than that expected in binary FeCr alloys and that Al can act as a destabilizing alloying element for the deleterious $\alpha$ʹ -phase.

In: Journal of Nuclear Materials