Irradiation of metal alloys of industrial interest

Published on 06 / 23 / 2021

ATRON METROLOGY performs 17-day electron irradiation on behalf of the GPM on metal alloys of industrial interest.

The Group of Physics of Materials (UMR CNRS 6634, University of Rouen Normandie, INSA of Rouen Normandie) is a laboratory specialized in the aging of materials under radiation. As part of a collaborative RIN (Réseaux d'Intérêts Normands) project with EDF R&D, funded by the Normandy Region and the European Union via the FEDER (Fonds Européens de Développement Régional), the GPM has selected 30 alloys representative of bainitics steels of pressurized water nuclear reactor (PWR) tanks and ferritic-martensitic steels, potential structural materials for future nuclear reactors (generation IV) in order to understand certain mechanisms governing their microstructural evolution under radiation.

Their electron beam irradiation has been carried out by ATRON METROLOGY using the LAETICIA irradiation chamber. For more than 400 hours, the samples were irradiated with a 2000 keV electron beam scanned over a 20x16 mm² area. The beam current of 417.3 µA induced 3.5e21 electrons on the samples, with a regulated temperature of 305.2 ° C.

This irradiation sequence resulted in 0.04 displacements per atom (dpa), which reflect the number of transfers of each atom in the structure. They can generate point defects (gaps or interstitials) leading to aging, embrittlement or accelerated corrosion of the material. The study of these electron-irradiated materials will allow the GPM to refine the under radiation matter aging models and to optimize the structural materials of nuclear reactors of the future.

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