In recent years, the development of nuclear grade FeCrAl-based alloys with enhanced accident tolerance has been carried out for light water reactor (LWR) fuel cladding to serve as a substitute for zirconium-based alloys. To achieve excellent microstructure stability and mechanical properties, the control of precipitation particles is critical for application of FeCrAl-based alloys. In this paper, the effect of thermomechanical processing on the microstructure and precipitation behavior of hot-rolled FeCrAl alloy plates was examined. After hot rolling, the FeCrAl alloy plates had typical deformation textures. The rolling direction (RD) orientation gradually rotated from <100> to <110> along with increasing reduction. Shear bands and cell structures were formed in the matrix, and the former acted as preferable nucleation sites for crystallization. Improved deformation helped to produce strain-induced precipitation. The plate with 83% reduction had the most homogeneous and finest precipitation particles. Identification results by TEM indicated that the Laves precipitation was of the Fe2
Nb-type crystal structure type, with impurities including Mo, Cr, and Si. The plate with uniform Laves particles displayed favorable heat stability after a long period of aging at 800 °C. The microstructure evolution of the aged sample was also observed. The deformation microstructure and the strain-induced precipitation mechanism of FeCrAl alloys are discussed.
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