Radiation Effects in Metals

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2018) | Viewed by 54561

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Senior Scientist, Institute of Materials Engineering, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, New Illawarra Road, Lucas Heights, NSW, 2234, Australia
Interests: radiation effects on materials; mechanical behaviour of materials; phase transformations in metallic materials; materials characterization including TEM, SEM, EBSD; in situ nano- and micro- mechanical testing
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

High-energy radiation involving neutrons, ions, and electromagnetic waves can alter the microstructure and properties of metallic materials in a variety of ways. It is of enormous importance to understand these effects due to many reasons:

(i)                 High throughput nuclear reactors with enhanced efficiency and low levels of nuclear waste can be a part of the solution to the world’s increasing energy needs. The design and construction of such reactors would need a profound theoretical and practical understanding of the effects of high radiation doses on the structure and properties of the materials used for their construction (mostly metallic alloys).

(ii)               Radiation can be used in modifying the surface of various metals to create layered structures with different functional properties. It can also be used to transmute a fraction of the atoms in bulk material in a random but uniform distribution, thus altering the properties of the material for certain applications.

(iii)             Radiation by high-energy ion and electron fluxes, plasma, solar electromagnetic fluxes, etc., can affect the properties of the shells of spacecraft and also those of instruments within them, when landing in or traversing regions with high radiation levels. Therefore, the reliability of these parts may be compromised by exposure to radiation.

We invite papers reporting significant original research, as well as reviews on radiation effects in metals alloys and metallic multilayers, including experiments using both ion beam and neutron irradiation. The subjects of interest for this Special Issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Effects of radiation on (a) microstructure, (b) mechanical properties of metallic materials
  • Methods of characterizing radiation effects, including transmission and scanning electron microscopy, SANS, synchrotron radiation, X-ray diffraction, etc.

Theoretical calculations and simulations of radiation effects on materials, including molecular dynamics, ab initio, Monte Carlo, finite elements, etc.

Dr. Dhriti Bhattacharyya
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 4752 KiB  
Article
Dose Dependence of Micro-Voids Distributions in Low-Temperature Neutron Irradiated Eurofer97 Steel
by Roberto Coppola and Michael Klimenkov
Metals 2019, 9(5), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9050552 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3086
Abstract
The microstructural effects of mixed spectrum neutron irradiation at 250 °C and 300 °C, for 2.7 dpa, 8.4 dpa, and 16.3 dpa doses, have been investigated in standard Eurofer97 (0.12 C, 9 Cr, 0.48 Mn, 0.2 V, 1.08 W, 0.14 Ta wt%) by [...] Read more.
The microstructural effects of mixed spectrum neutron irradiation at 250 °C and 300 °C, for 2.7 dpa, 8.4 dpa, and 16.3 dpa doses, have been investigated in standard Eurofer97 (0.12 C, 9 Cr, 0.48 Mn, 0.2 V, 1.08 W, 0.14 Ta wt%) by means of small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) compared with un-irradiated Eurofer97. The observed SANS effects are attributed to the development of micro-voids, also detected by electron microscopy. The micro-voids distributions have been obtained by an improved transformation method of the SANS cross-sections providing consistent results both before and after subtraction of the un-irradiated reference. Mono-disperse micro-voids distributions are found, with average radii increasing with the dose, namely 4.4 Å for irradiation to 2.7 dpa at 300 °C, 6.6 Å for 8.4 dpa at 300 °C, and 12.9 Å for 16.4 dpa at 250 °C; the corresponding volume fractions are 0.001, 0.006, and 0.004, respectively. The differences in such distributions might reflect different damage evolution mechanisms for the different irradiation conditions, as also suggested by the comparison with a Eurofer97 sample irradiated under fast spectrum. A good resistance of Eurofer97 to micro-structural radiation damage, at least under these irradiation conditions, is suggested by the analysis of these experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Effects in Metals)
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21 pages, 6591 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study of Two Nanoindentation Approaches for Assessing Mechanical Properties of Ion-Irradiated Stainless Steel 316
by Michael Saleh, Zain Zaidi, Christopher Hurt, Mihail Ionescu, Paul Munroe and Dhriti Bhattacharyya
Metals 2018, 8(9), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8090719 - 13 Sep 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4463
Abstract
Nanoindentation is a commonly used method to measure the hardness of surfaces with thin layers, and is especially useful in studying the change in mechanical properties of ion irradiated materials. This research compares two different methods of nanoindentation to study the changes in [...] Read more.
Nanoindentation is a commonly used method to measure the hardness of surfaces with thin layers, and is especially useful in studying the change in mechanical properties of ion irradiated materials. This research compares two different methods of nanoindentation to study the changes in hardness resulting from ion irradiation of SS316 alloy. The samples were irradiated by He2+ ions at beam energies of 1, 2, and 3 MeV, respectively. The first method involves the indentation of the irradiated surface perpendicular to it using the continuous stiffness mode (CSM), while the second applies the indents on an oblique surface, accessing an inclined cross-section of the irradiated material. Finite element modelling has been used to further illuminate the deformation processes below the indents in the two methods. The hardness profiles obtained from the two nanoindentation methods reveal the differences in the outcomes and advantages of the respective procedures, and provide a useful guideline for their applicability to various experimental conditions. It is shown through an in depth analysis of the results that the ‘top-down’ method is preferable in the case when the ion irradiation energy, or, equivalently, the irradiated depth is small, due to its greater spatial resolution. However, the oblique cross section method is more suitable when the ion irradiation energy is >1 MeV, since it allows a more faithful measurement of hardness as a function of dose, as the plastic field is much smaller and more sensitive to local hardness values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Effects in Metals)
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9 pages, 2383 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Property Testing of Hydrogenated Zirconium Irradiated with Electrons
by Viktor N. Kudiiarov, Vitaliy V. Larionov and Yuri I. Tyurin
Metals 2018, 8(4), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8040207 - 23 Mar 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3610
Abstract
The mechanical properties of the hydrogenated zirconium alloy Zr-1Nb are studied under different conditions for hydrogen removal by an electron beam and thermal heating. The mechanical testing of zirconium samples is analyzed during hydrogenation and irradiation with a low energy electron beam. The [...] Read more.
The mechanical properties of the hydrogenated zirconium alloy Zr-1Nb are studied under different conditions for hydrogen removal by an electron beam and thermal heating. The mechanical testing of zirconium samples is analyzed during hydrogenation and irradiation with a low energy electron beam. The plasticity of the samples is shown to be increased during the radiation stimulation of hydrogen removal from zirconium by even a weak electron beam. In this case, the tensile strength (ultimate strength) is practically not changed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Effects in Metals)
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62730 KiB  
Article
In Situ Observations of Blistering of a Metal Irradiated with 2-MeV Protons
by Alexander Badrutdinov, Timophey Bykov, Sergey Gromilov, Yasuo Higashi, Dmitrii Kasatov, Iaroslav Kolesnikov, Alexey Koshkarev, Alexandr Makarov, Takuya Miyazawa, Ivan Shchudlo, Evgeniia Sokolova, Hirotaka Sugawara and Sergey Taskaev
Metals 2017, 7(12), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/met7120558 - 12 Dec 2017
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 6245
Abstract
A vacuum-insulated tandem accelerator was used to observe in situ blistering during 2-MeV proton irradiation of metallic samples to a fluence of up to 6.7 × 1020 cm−2. Samples consisting of copper of different purity, tantalum and tantalum-copper compounds were [...] Read more.
A vacuum-insulated tandem accelerator was used to observe in situ blistering during 2-MeV proton irradiation of metallic samples to a fluence of up to 6.7 × 1020 cm−2. Samples consisting of copper of different purity, tantalum and tantalum-copper compounds were placed on the proton beam path and forced to cool. The surface state of the samples was observed using a charge-coupled device camera with a remote microscope. Thermistors, a pyrometer and an infrared camera were applied to measure the temperature of the samples during irradiation. After irradiation, the samples were analyzed on an X-ray diffractometer, laser and electron microscopes. The present study describes the experiment, presents the results obtained and notes their relevance and significance in the development of a lithium target for an accelerator-based neutron source, for use in boron neutron capture therapy of cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Effects in Metals)
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3684 KiB  
Article
Effect of Heavy Ion Irradiation Dosage on the Hardness of SA508-IV Reactor Pressure Vessel Steel
by Xue Bai, Sujun Wu, Peter K. Liaw, Lin Shao and Jonathan Gigax
Metals 2017, 7(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/met7010025 - 14 Jan 2017
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 5327
Abstract
Specimens of the SA508-IV reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steel, containing 3.26 wt. % Ni and just 0.041 wt. % Cu, were irradiated at 290 °C to different displacement per atom (dpa) with 3.5 MeV Fe ions (Fe2+). Microstructure observation and nano-indentation [...] Read more.
Specimens of the SA508-IV reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steel, containing 3.26 wt. % Ni and just 0.041 wt. % Cu, were irradiated at 290 °C to different displacement per atom (dpa) with 3.5 MeV Fe ions (Fe2+). Microstructure observation and nano-indentation hardness measurements were carried out. The Continuous Stiffness Measurement (CSM) of nano-indentation was used to obtain the indentation depth profile of nano-hardness. The curves showed a maximum nano-hardness and a plateau damage near the surface of the irradiated samples, attributed to different hardening mechanisms. The Nix-Gao model was employed to analyze the nano-indentation test results. It was found that the curves of nano-hardness versus the reciprocal of indentation depth are bilinear. The nano-hardness value corresponding to the inflection point of the bilinear curve may be used as a parameter to describe the ion irradiation effect. The obvious entanglement of the dislocations was observed in the 30 dpa sample. The maximum nano-hardness values show a good linear relationship with the square root of the dpa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Effects in Metals)
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3149 KiB  
Article
Temperature-Dependent Helium Ion-Beam Mixing in an Amorphous SiOC/Crystalline Fe Composite
by Qing Su, Lloyd Price, Lin Shao and Michael Nastasi
Metals 2016, 6(11), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/met6110261 - 31 Oct 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3978
Abstract
Temperature dependent He-irradiation-induced ion-beam mixing between amorphous silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) and crystalline Fe was examined with a transmission electron microscope (TEM) and via Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS). The Fe marker layer (7.2 ± 0.8 nm) was placed in between two amorphous SiOC layers [...] Read more.
Temperature dependent He-irradiation-induced ion-beam mixing between amorphous silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) and crystalline Fe was examined with a transmission electron microscope (TEM) and via Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS). The Fe marker layer (7.2 ± 0.8 nm) was placed in between two amorphous SiOC layers (200 nm). The amount of ion-beam mixing after 298, 473, 673, 873, and 1073 K irradiation was investigated. Both TEM and RBS results showed no ion-beam mixing between Fe and SiOC after 473 and 673 K irradiation and a very trivial amount of ion-beam mixing (~2 nm) after 298 K irradiation. At irradiation temperatures higher than 873 K, the Fe marker layer broke down and RBS could no longer be used to quantitatively examine the amount of ion mixing. The results indicate that the Fe/SiOC nanocomposite is thermally stable and tends to demix in the temperature range from 473 to 673 K. For application of this composite structure at temperatures of 873 K or higher, layer stability is a key consideration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Effects in Metals)
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4855 KiB  
Article
Effects of X-rays Radiation on AISI 304 Stainless Steel Weldings with AISI 316L Filler Material: A Study of Resistance and Pitting Corrosion Behavior
by Francisco Javier Cárcel-Carrasco, Manuel Pascual-Guillamón and Miguel Angel Pérez-Puig
Metals 2016, 6(5), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/met6050102 - 29 Apr 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 7735
Abstract
This article investigates the effect of low-level ionizing radiation, namely X-rays, on the micro structural characteristics, resistance, and corrosion resistance of TIG-welded joints of AISI 304 austenitic stainless steel made using AISI 316L filler rods. The welds were made in two different environments: [...] Read more.
This article investigates the effect of low-level ionizing radiation, namely X-rays, on the micro structural characteristics, resistance, and corrosion resistance of TIG-welded joints of AISI 304 austenitic stainless steel made using AISI 316L filler rods. The welds were made in two different environments: natural atmospheric conditions and a closed chamber filled with inert argon gas. The influence of different doses of radiation on the resistance and corrosion characteristics of the welds is analyzed. Welded material from inert Ar gas chamber TIG showed better characteristics and lesser irradiation damage effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Effects in Metals)
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Review

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12936 KiB  
Review
Overview of Intergranular Fracture of Neutron Irradiated Austenitic Stainless Steels
by Anna Hojná
Metals 2017, 7(10), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/met7100392 - 25 Sep 2017
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 12841
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Effects in Metals)
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