Emulation of neutron-irradiated microstructure of austenitic 21Cr32Ni model alloy using dual-ion irradiation

Muhammet Ayanoglu, Arthur T. Motta

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In this study, the capability of heavy-ion irradiation to emulate neutron irradiation was demonstrated on an austenitic 21Cr32Ni type ternary model alloy. The model alloy used in this study is chemically analogous but compositionally simpler than of alloy 800H, which is a candidate austenitic Ni alloy which has been proposed for use in Generation IV reactors. The microstructure of the 21Cr32Ni model alloy irradiated in the BOR-60 fast reactor to 17.1 dpa and 35 dpa at ∼380 °C was characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The 17.1 dpa BOR-60 irradiated microstructure was then compared with the microstructure of the same material developed under dual-ion (DI) irradiation using various He/dpa ratios between 0.1 and 16.6 appm He/dpa in the temperature range of 430 °C-500 °C. The results showed that both neutron and DI irradiation of 21Cr32Ni model alloy produced dislocations in the form of a dislocation network as well as {111}-type faulted dislocation loops, cavities, and radiation-induced Ni enrichment at radiation-induced sinks. When the dose and the He/dpa ratio were kept similar to those in neutron irradiation, DI irradiation of the 21Cr32Ni model alloy at 460 °C resulted in over-nucleation of small cavities and in a high density of faulted dislocation loops compared to those observed in the fast-neutron irradiated alloy of the same heat irradiated at ∼380 °C. The optimal condition for reproducing the neutron-irradiated microstructure was DI irradiation at 460 °C and 0.1 appm He/dpa. In that case, the faulted loop and cavity size distributions in the BOR-60 irradiated 21Cr32Ni model alloy samples closely matched with those measured in the DI irradiated 21Cr32Ni model alloy sample. The fact that the He/dpa is an order of magnitude smaller than the helium generation rate for fast neutron irradiation, stops over nucleation and allows for the development of a similar microstructure as for neutron irradiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number153944
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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