Type 316L stainless steel has been selected as a candidate structural material in a series of current accelerator driven systems and Generation IV reactor conceptual designs. The material is sensitive to irradiation damage in the temperature range of 150-400 °C: even low levels of irradiation exposure, as small as 0.1 dpa, can cause severe loss of ductility during tensile loading. This process, where the plastic flow becomes highly localized resulting in extremely low overall ductility, is referred as flow localization. The process controlling this confined flow is related to the difference between the yield and ultimate tensile strengths such that large irradiation-induced increases in the yield strength result in very limited plastic flow leading to necking after very small levels of uniform elongation. In this study, the microstructural evolution controlling flow localization is examined. It is found that twinning is an important deformation mechanism at lower temperatures since it promotes the strain hardening process. At higher temperatures, twinning becomes energetically impossible since the activation of twinning is determined by the critical twinning stress, which increases rapidly with temperature. Mechanical twinning and dislocation-based planar slip are competing mechanisms for plastic deformation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering