Grain Boundary Phosphorus Segregation Under Irradiation and Thermal Aging and Its Effect on the Ductile-to-Brittle Transition

    Published: Jan 2001

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    Embrittlement of low-alloy steel components used in the nuclear power industry is classified into hardening embrittlement and non-hardening embrittlement. Hardening embrittlement stems from precipitation of carbides or copper-rich compounds. Non-hardening embrittlement results mainly from grain boundary segregation of phosphorus. To examine the non-hardening embrittlement in 2.25Cr 1Mo steel, phosphorus intergranular segregation in samples subjected to neutron irradiation and thermal aging at 270°C and 400°C is determined by modelling and transmission electron microscopy. The ductile-to-brittle transition temperature for the steel is determined by means of small punch testing with 3 mm diameter disc specimens. It is indicated that there is a reasonable agreement between the behavior of intergranular phosphorus segregation and shifts in the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature. Measured and predicted phosphorus intergranular segregation in a range of pressure vessel steels is also discussed.


    grain boundaries, segregation, neutron irradiation, steels, ductile-to-brittle transition, analytical electron microscopy

    Author Information:

    Song, S
    Research Associate and Professor, IPTME, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leics

    Faulkner, RG
    Research Associate and Professor, IPTME, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leics

    Flewitt, PEJ
    Manager of Structural Integrity, BNFL Magnox Generation, Berkeley Center, Berkeley, Glos

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.07

    DOI: 10.1520/STP10533S

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