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Metals 2017, 7(10), 392; doi:10.3390/met7100392

Overview of Intergranular Fracture of Neutron Irradiated Austenitic Stainless Steels

Centrum Vyzkumu Rez (CVR), UJV Group, Rez 130, 250 68 Husinec, Czech Republic
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 16 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Effects in Metals)
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Abstract

Austenitic stainless steels are normally ductile and exhibit deep dimples on fracture surfaces. These steels can, however, exhibit brittle intergranular fracture under some circumstances. The occurrence of intergranular fracture in the irradiated steels is briefly reviewed based on limited literature data. The data are sorted according to the irradiation temperature. Intergranular fracture may occur in association with a high irradiation temperature and void swelling. At low irradiation temperature, the steels can exhibit intergranular fracture at low or even at room temperatures during loading in air and in high temperature water (~300 °C). This paper deals with the similarities and differences for IG fractures and discusses the mechanisms involved. The intergranular fracture occurrence at low temperatures might be correlated with decohesion or twinning and strain martensite transformation in local narrow areas around grain boundaries. The possibility of a ductile-to-brittle transition is also discussed. In case of void swelling higher than 3%, quasi-cleavage at low temperature might be expected as a consequence of ductile-to-brittle fracture changes with temperature. Any existence of the change in fracture behavior in the steels of present thermal reactor internals with increasing irradiation dose should be clearly proven or disproven. Further studies to clarify the mechanism are recommended. View Full-Text
Keywords: intergranular fracture; austenitic stainless steel; high dose neutron irradiation; irradiation assisted stress corrosion cracking; void swelling; ductile-to-brittle transition temperature intergranular fracture; austenitic stainless steel; high dose neutron irradiation; irradiation assisted stress corrosion cracking; void swelling; ductile-to-brittle transition temperature
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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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Hojná, A. Overview of Intergranular Fracture of Neutron Irradiated Austenitic Stainless Steels. Metals 2017, 7, 392.

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