SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1965

Low-Temperature Embrittlement of Iron, Iron Alloys, and Steels by Neutron Irradiations


The low-temperature embrittlement of iron, iron alloys, and A212-B and modified Hy 80 steels in unirradiated and irradiated conditions was studied using the tension test. A radiation-induced transition temperature (embrittlement) at 125 to 130 K occurs only in irons with carbon content of about 30 ppm or greater. Embrittlement occurs with exposure as low as 2 X 1018 nvt and the embrittling temperature does not increase with exposure. This embrittlement is attributed to a carbon-vacancy defect formed by trapping of a carbon atom by a radiation-produced vacancy. Additions of substitutional alloys reduce this change in the embrittlement temperature.

No correlation has been found between the radiation-induced, low-temperature tensile embrittlement and the shift in notched impact transition temperature observed at higher temperatures.

Author Information

Chow, J., G. Y.
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, N. Y.
McRickard, S., B.
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, N. Y.
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Developed by Committee: E10
Pages: 120–130
DOI: 10.1520/STP43525S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-6007-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-6161-0