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    Irradiation Creep of Dilute Nickel Alloys


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    Proton irradiation creep tests have been conducted on pure nickel, commercial purity nickel and a 2.48 wt.% silicon alloy. The irradiation creep compliance at 623K was found to be only weakly dependant on alloying, less than a factor of two reduction in creep compliance occuring due to the addition of silicon to pure nickel. Interestingly, the commercial purity nickel possessed the lowest irradiation creep compliance at all temperatures.

    Considering this weak dependence of the creep compliance upon alloying the difference in microstructure was marked. In the pure nickel an inhomogeneous dislocation loop distribution formed. This consisted of a high dislocation loop density concentrated around existing network dislocations. Areas away from dislocation lines were devoid of visible irradiation damage. The commercial purity nickel and nickel-silicon alloy formed a relatively uniform distribution of dislocation loops throughout the specimen, with some “rafting” occuring in the commercial purity nickel at line dislocations. A pronounced effect of stress on loop size and density was observed.

    The irradiation creep compliance was weakly dependent upon temperature and alloying, while the dislocation microstructure was markedly altered. This behaviour is contrary to the findings of similar studies reported in the literature. A survey of these experiments suggests that the wide variation of irradiation creep moduli obtained in other studies arises from the use of this concept under conditions where non-linear stress dependences prevail. If only those results obtained in the linear stress dependence regime are considered, they are in agreement with the present findings. The results of the present study appear to be in excellent agreement with the Stress Induced Preferred Absorption (SIPA) model of irradiation creep.


    irradiation creep, nickel alloys, proton irradiation, simulation, radiation effects, transmission electron microscopy, microstructure, dislocation loops

    Author Information:

    Atkins, T
    Metallurgy Division, AERE Harwell, Oxon.,

    McElroy, RJ
    Metallurgy Division, AERE Harwell, Oxon.,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.07

    DOI: 10.1520/STP34383S