A modified magnetomechanical acoustic emission (MAE) technique denoted Pulse MAE, in which the magnetizing current has a rectangular wave form, was developed as an NDE technique. Its applicability to the radiation damage for reactor pressure vessel steel was evaluated.
The reactor pressure vessel steel A533B base metal and weld metal were irradiated to the two fluence levels: 5 x 1022 and 3 x 1023 n/m2 at 288 °C. One side of the specimen was electropolished after irradiation. Pulse MAE signals were measured with a 350 kHz resonance frequency AE sensor at the moment when the magnetizing voltage is applied from zero to the set-up value abruptly. The AE signals were analyzed and the peak voltage Vp was determined for the measuring parameter.
The peak voltage Vp showed the tendency to increase monotonically with increasing neutron fluence. The relationship between the Vp and mechanical properties such as yield stress, tensile strength and Charpy transition temperature were also obtained. The Pulse MAE technique proved to have the possibility to detect and evaluate the neutron irradiation embrittlement. The potential of the Pulse MAE as an effective NDE technique and applicability to the actual components are discussed.