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    Tensile Properties of Neutron Irradiated A212B Pressure Vessel Steel

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    A212B steel is the primary constituent of the pressure vessel of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). Most of the existing data on the mechanical properties of this and related steels are for higher temperatures and damage rates than those to which the HFIR pressure vessel is subjected. Data at lower temperatures and damage rates are therefore necessary to estimate the performance of A212B steel under the conditions of service, provided that correlations can be developed that are applicable to data obtained at different temperatures, damage rates, and neutron spectra.

    To add to the data base for A212B steel at lower temperatures and over a range of damage rates, miniature tensile specimens of A212B were irradiated at 363 K (90°C) in the Omega West Reactor (OWR), receiving doses of from 9×1022 to 9×1023 total n m−2 (0.002 to 0.02 dpa) at a damage rate of 5×108dpas1. Room temperature tensile tests showed more than a 50% increase in yield strength at the highest exposure. When dpa is used as the exposure parameter, the observed changes in yield strength of A212B are the same as those produced in A302B pressure vessel steel irradiated both in OWR and with 14-MeV neutrons in the Rotating Target Neutron Source (RTNS-II). At 363 K (90°C), A302B shows little sensitivity to either neutron spectrum differences or to damage rates ranging from 3×1011 to 5×108dpas1. Based on the similar behavior of A212B and A302B in OWR, it appears that one can assume that A212B is similarly insensitive to displacement rate at low temperatures for levels above about 3×1011dpas1.


    tensile properties, yield strength, neutron irradiation, pressure vessel steels, neutron spectral effects, damage rate effects

    Author Information:

    Hamilton, Margaret L.
    Senior research scientist, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA

    Heinisch, Howard L.
    Senior research scientist, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, WA

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.08

    DOI: 10.1520/STP49443S