Micropillar compression study of Fe-irradiated 304L steel

Conference Dates

September 29-October 4, 2019


Stainless steel used in nuclear reactors are experiencing heavy neutron irradiation that modify their microstructure, and therefore their mechanical properties. To assess the irradiation-induced hardening and the modification of deformation modes at the grain scale on 304L steels, indentations [1] and in situ microcompression tests were conducted on Fe-ions irradiated and non-irradiated FIB-made pillars [2]. 10 MeV and up to 8 dpa Fe irradiations were conducted at 450°C to surrogate neutron irradiation.

Size effect was detected on unirradiated but not on irradiated pillars, revealing a strong impact of the microstructure on the mechanical behavior. Surprisingly, smoother plastic deformation took place in irradiated pillars while localized shear bands were observed in unirradiated ones. TEM investigations helped elaborating some hypothesis for this different behavior.

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