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The irradiation-induced swelling of Type 316 stainless steel has been shown to be strongly dependent upon minor alloying constituents. At fluences around 2 to 4 × 1022 neutrons (n)/cm2 (E > 0.1 MeV) it was shown that increasing the levels of concentration of carbon, phosphorus, and silicon was found to be most effective in increasing the swelling resistance of the alloy system. Manganese concentration was found to exhibit a less pronounced effect on the swelling than those three elemental variations. Variations in sulfur, nitrogen, and boron, to those levels investigated, showed no significant effect on swelling. Molybdenum and colbalt variations resulted in quite anomalous swelling behavior, but the data did suggest that increases in these elements in Type 316 stainless steel would, in some cases, reduce the swelling. Chromium and nickel variations resulted in data which suggested trends but were inconclusive. All of the results indicate a temperature dependence.
Quantification of these effects is possible through a model which empirically relates alloy composition to the fluence at which steady-state swelling begins.
radiation, irradiation, stainless steels, swelling, densification, vacancy, interstitial, alloy modifications
Advanced research engineer, Damage Analysis, Hanford Engineering Development Laboratory, Richland, Wash.