SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

On the Effect of Flux and Composition on Irradiation Hardening at 60°C


A large matrix of simple alloys and complex commercial type steels was irradiated over a range of fluxes at 60°C up to a fast fluence of about 3×1022 n/m2. Combined with data in the literature, these results show a negligible effect of flux on irradiation hardening in the range of 2×1013 to 5×1018 n/m2-s. This observation lends indirect support to the proposal that the accelerated embrittlement in the High Flux Isotope Reactor surveillance steels was due to an anomalously high level of damage from gamma rays. A weak dependence of hardening on a number of elements, including copper, nickel, phosphorous, molybdenum and manganese, can be described by a simple empirical chemistry factor. Particular combinations of elements resulted in hardening differences of up to about 60% in the complex commercial type steels and up to about 100% in simple model alloys. Direct effects of microstructure appear to be minimal. Hardening varies with the square root of fluence above a threshold around 4×1020 n/m2. The results suggest that low temperature hardening is dominated by local intracascade processes leading to the formation of small defect-solute clusters/complexes. The observed hardening corresponds to nominal maximum end-of-life transition temperature shifts in support structure steels of about 120°C.

Author Information

Odette, GR
University of California Santa Barabara, Santa Barbara, CA
Lucas, GE
University of California Santa Barabara, Santa Barbara, CA
Klingensmith, RD
University of California Santa Barabara, Santa Barbara, CA
Stoller, RE
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
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Developed by Committee: E10
Pages: 547–568
DOI: 10.1520/STP16494S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5328-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2016-7