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Materials 2016, 9(3), 144; doi:10.3390/ma9030144

The Role of Grain Size on Neutron Irradiation Response of Nanocrystalline Copper

1
Department of Nuclear Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
2
Idaho National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1625 Idaho Falls, ID 83415-6188, USA
Current address: Nuclear Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL 60439, USA.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jie Lian
Received: 2 December 2015 / Revised: 31 January 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2016 / Published: 1 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Materials 2015)

Abstract

The role of grain size on the developed microstructure and mechanical properties of neutron irradiated nanocrystalline copper was investigated by comparing the radiation response of material to the conventional micrograined counterpart. Nanocrystalline (nc) and micrograined (MG) copper samples were subjected to a range of neutron exposure levels from 0.0034 to 2 dpa. At all damage levels, the response of MG-copper was governed by radiation hardening manifested by an increase in strength with accompanying ductility loss. Conversely, the response of nc-copper to neutron irradiation exhibited a dependence on the damage level. At low damage levels, grain growth was the primary response, with radiation hardening and embrittlement becoming the dominant responses with increasing damage levels. Annealing experiments revealed that grain growth in nc-copper is composed of both thermally-activated and irradiation-induced components. Tensile tests revealed minimal change in the source hardening component of the yield stress in MG-copper, while the source hardening component was found to decrease with increasing radiation exposure in nc-copper. View Full-Text
Keywords: copper; nanocrystalline; neutron irradiation; grain growth; radiation hardening; thermal stability copper; nanocrystalline; neutron irradiation; grain growth; radiation hardening; thermal stability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mohamed, W.; Miller, B.; Porter, D.; Murty, K. The Role of Grain Size on Neutron Irradiation Response of Nanocrystalline Copper. Materials 2016, 9, 144.

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