SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Effect of Irradiation in a Spallation Neutron Environment on Tensile Properties and Microstructure of Aluminum Alloys 5052 and 6061


The Accelerator Production of Tritium (APT) and the Accelerator Transmutation of Waste (ATW) programs require structural materials which retain good mechanical properties when exposed in a spallation neutron irradiation environment. One group of materials likely to withstand the environment anticipated for these systems is the aluminum alloy series. To characterize this class of materials in a prototypical irradiation environment, Al5052 (Al-2.7Mg) and Al6061 (Al-1.1Mg-0.5Si) in hardened and annealed conditions were irradiated to a fluence of 4.2×1020 neutrons/cm2 at ~100°C in a spallation neutron source. Following irradiation, tensile tests and post-test examinations were performed to determine the influence of irradiation and test temperature on mechanical properties and fracture mode. It was found that, the properties of these two aluminum alloys were not significantly affected by the irradiation exposure conditions examined here. Thus these materials may be acceptable as structural materials for APT and ATW applications. This conclusion is based on limited mechanical properties testing, supported by other information in the literature on the performance of these materials in other irradiation environments.

Author Information

Dunlap, JA
University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA
Borden, MJ
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA
Sommer, WF
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA
Stubbins, JF
University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA
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Developed by Committee: E10
Pages: 1047–1056
DOI: 10.1520/STP16524S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5328-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2016-7