Standard Historical Last Updated: Sep 28, 2017 Track Document
ASTM E693-12e1

Standard Practice for Characterizing Neutron Exposures in Iron and Low Alloy Steels in Terms of Displacements Per Atom (DPA)

Standard Practice for Characterizing Neutron Exposures in Iron and Low Alloy Steels in Terms of Displacements Per Atom (DPA) E0693-12E01 ASTM|E0693-12E01|en-US Standard Practice for Characterizing Neutron Exposures in Iron and Low Alloy Steels in Terms of Displacements Per Atom (DPA) Standard new BOS Vol. 12.02 Committee E10
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Significance and Use

4.1 A pressure vessel surveillance program requires a methodology for relating radiation-induced changes in materials exposed in accelerated surveillance locations to the condition of the pressure vessel (see Practice E853). An important consideration is that the irradiation exposures be expressed in a unit that is physically related to the damage mechanisms.

4.2 A major source of neutron radiation damage in metals is the displacement of atoms from their normal lattice sites. Hence, an appropriate damage exposure index is the number of times, on the average, that an atom has been displaced during an irradiation. This can be expressed as the total number of displaced atoms per unit volume, per unit mass, or per atom of the material. Displacements per atom is the most common way of expressing this quantity. The number of dpa associated with a particular irradiation depends on the amount of energy deposited in the material by the neutrons, and hence, depends on the neutron spectrum. (For a more extended discussion, see Practice E521.)

4.3 No simple correspondence exists in general between dpa and a particular change in a material property. A reasonable starting point, however, for relative correlations of property changes produced in different neutron spectra is the dpa value associated with each environment. That is, the dpa values themselves provide a spectrum-sensitive index that may be a useful correlation parameter, or some function of the dpa values may affect correlation.

(A) Energies represent the lower bin boundary. The upper bin limit is 20.0 MeV

4.4 Since dpa is a construct that depends on a model of the neutron interaction processes in the material lattice, as well as the cross section (probability) for each of these processes, the value of dpa would be different if improved models or cross sections are used. The calculated dpa cross section for ferritic iron, as given in this practice, is determined by the procedure given in 6.3. The currently recommended dpa cross sections in this practice (Table 1) were generated using the iron ENDF/B-VI iron cross section (1).3 A recent calculation using ENDF/B-VII produced identical results.(2,3) Although the ENDF/B-VI based dpa cross section differs from the previously recommended ENDF/B-IV dpa cross section (1) by about 60 % in the energy region around 10 keV, by about 10 % for energies between 100 keV and 2 MeV, and by a factor of 4 near 1 keV due to the opening of reaction channels in the cross section, the integral iron dpa values are much less sensitive to the change in cross sections. The update from ENDF/B-IV to ENDF/B-VI dpa rates when applied to the H. B. Robinson-2 pressurized water reactor resulted in “up to 4 % higher dpa rates in the region close to the pressure vessel outer surface” and in “slightly lower dpa rates ... close to the pressure vessel inner wall” (4, 5). Table 2 presents a comparison of a previous edition (Practice E693-94) and currently recommended dpa estimates for several neutron spectra.

(A) The spectrum-average dpa values in this table were computed using Eq 11 in a 640 SAND-II energy group representation and a lower integration bound of Eo = 10–10 MeV.

Note 1: Table 2 is included to illustrate the effect on the dpa cross sections resulting from the change from the ENDF/B-IV to ENDF/B-VI cross sections. The spectrum-average cross section values given are not recommended for other uses because of their sensitivity to the assumed spectrum representations and the lower energy integration limit.


1.1 This practice describes a standard procedure for characterizing neutron irradiations of iron (and low alloy steels) in terms of the exposure index displacements per atom (dpa) for iron.

1.2 Although the methods of this practice apply to any material for which a displacement cross section σd(E) is known (see Practice E521), this practice is written specifically for iron.

1.3 It is assumed that the displacement cross section for iron is an adequate approximation for calculating displacements in steels that are mostly iron (95 to 100 %) in radiation fields for which secondary damage processes are not important.

1.4 Procedures analogous to this one can be formulated for calculating dpa in charged particle irradiations. (See Practice E521.)

1.5 The application of this practice requires knowledge of the total neutron fluence and flux spectrum. Refer to Practice E521 for determining these quantities.

1.6 The correlation of radiation effects data is beyond the scope of this practice.

1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.8 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 12.02
Developed by Subcommittee: E10.05
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.1520/E0693-12E01
ICS Code: 77.080.20