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[en] In-situ neutron diffraction experiments were performed on room temperature compressed 14YWT nanostructured ferritic alloys at 1100°C and 1150°C to understand their thermally activated static recrystallization mechanisms. The existence of high density of Y-Ti-O rich nano-oxides (<5 nm) shift the recrystallization temperature up due to Zener pinning of the grain boundaries, making these materials attractive for high temperature applications. This study serves to quantify the texture evolution in-situ and understand the effect of particles on the recrystallization mechanisms in 14YWT alloys. We have shown, both experimentally and theoretically, that there is considerable recovery in the 20% compressed sample after 6.5 h annealing at 1100°C while recrystallization occurs within an hour of annealing at 1100°C and 1150°C in the 60% compressed samples. Moreover, the 60% compressed samples show (112)<110> and (112)<111> texture components during annealing, in contrast to the conventional recrystallization textures in body centered cubic alloys. Furthermore, nano-oxide size, shape, density and distribution are considerably different in unrecrystallized and abnormally grown grains. Transmission electron microscopy analysis shows that oxide particles having a size between 5 and 30 nm play a critical role for recrystallization mechanisms in 14YWT nanostructured ferritic alloys.
[en] The easy, hard and split core configurations of the h111i screw dislocation and the energy pathways between them are studied in body-centered cubic (bcc) Fe and W using different density functional theory (DFT) approaches. All approaches indicate that in Fe, the hard core has a low relative energy, close to or even below that of the saddle configuration for a straight path between two easy cores. This surprising result is not a direct consequence of magnetism in bcc Fe. Moreover, the path followed by the dislocation core in the (111) plane between easy cores, identified here using two different methods to locate the dislocation position, is almost straight, while the energy landscape between the hard core position and the saddle configuration for a straight path is found to be very flat. These results in Fe are in contrast with predictions from empirical potentials as well as DFT calculations in W, where the hard core has an energy about twice that of the maximum energy along the Peierls barrier, and where the dislocation trajectory between easy cores is curved. Also, the split core configuration is found to be unstable in DFT and of high energy in both Fe and W, in contrast with predictions from most empirical potentials. (authors)
[en] Three-dimensional dislocation dynamics simulations are used to study micro-crack interaction with the first micro-structural barrier, in face-centred-cubic bi-crystals loaded in high-cycle fatigue conditions. In the examined configuration, we assumed that micro-crack transmission occurs due to surface relief growth in the secondary grain ahead of the primary crack. This indirect transmission mechanism is shown to strongly depend on grain-1/grain-2 disorientation. For instance, small grain disorientation induces plastic strain localization ahead of the crack and therefore, faster transmission through the first barrier. Conversely, large grain-1/grain-2 disorientation induces plastic strain spreading similar to crack tip blunting, yielding slower indirect transmission. A semi-analytical micro-model is then proposed based on the present simulation results and complementary experimental observations, highlighting the original notion of first barrier compliance. The model captures well-known experimental trends, including the effects of grain-size, grain disorientation and micro-crack retardation at the first barrier. (authors)
[en] Single-phase concentrated solid solution alloys have attracted wide interest due to their superior mechanical properties and enhanced radiation tolerance, which make them promising candidates for the structural applications in next-generation nuclear reactors. However, little has been understood about the intrinsic stability of their as-synthesized, high-entropy configurations against radiation damage. In this paper, we report the element segregation in CrFeCoNi, CrFeCoNiMn, and CrFeCoNiPd equiatomic alloys when subjected to 1250 kV electron irradiations at 400 °C up to a damage level of 1 displacement per atom. Cr/Fe/Mn/Pd can deplete and Co/Ni can accumulate at radiation-induced dislocation loops, while the actively segregating elements are alloy-specific. Moreover, electron-irradiated matrix of CrFeCoNiMn and CrFeCoNiPd shows L1_0 (NiMn)-type ordering decomposition and -oriented spinodal decomposition between Co/Ni and Pd, respectively. Finally, these findings are rationalized based on the atomic size difference and enthalpy of mixing between the alloying elements, and identify a new important requirement to the design of radiation-tolerant alloys through modification of the composition.
[en] Irradiation-induced void swelling remains a major challenge to nuclear reactor operation. Swelling may take years to initiate and often results in rapid material property degradation once started. Alloy development for advanced nuclear systems will require rapid characterization of the swelling breakaway dose in new alloys, yet this capability does not yet exist. In this paper, we demonstrate that transient grating spectroscopy (TGS) can detect void swelling in single crystal copper via changes in surface acoustic wave (SAW) velocity. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) links the TGS-observed changes with void swelling-induced microstructural evolution. Finally, these results are considered in the context of previous work to suggest that in situ TGS will be able to rapidly determine when new bulk materials begin void swelling, shortening alloy development and testing times.
[en] Severe plastic deformation (SPD) always leads to the strong grain refinement in the materials. Logically, in two- and multiphase alloys SPD has to cause the fragmentation and dissolution of precipitates in a matrix. However, it has been observed recently, that, contrary to this generally accepted viewpoint, SPD can lead also to the decomposition of supersaturated solid solution. In this work we analyze for the first time (both experimentally and theoretically) the competition of these simultaneous processes can take place, namely (1) the dissolution of precipitates and (2) decomposition of supersaturated solid solution with precipitation of a second phase. As a result, a dynamic equilibrium between these two processes appears, and a certain steady-state concentration in a solid solution is reached. In this work we study the high pressure torsion (HPT) of a two-phase Cu-3.9 at. % Ag alloy in two different states: (i) as-cast consisting of a (Cu) solid solution with diluted 1.9 at.% Ag and another 2 at.% Ag as fine silver precipitates and (ii) an almost homogeneous solid solution with diluted 3.9 at.% Ag obtained by homogenization at T = 780 C, 900 h and subsequent water quenching. HPT at room temperature causes the partial dissolution of precipitates in the as-cast samples and partial decomposition of the solid solution in homogenized samples. After HPT, the solute concentration in the matrix is the same in both samples (about 2.9-3.0 at.% Ag). Thus, it does not depend on the initial state and is higher than the equilibrium solubility limit at the HPT temperature. This concentration is equal to solubility limit at the effective temperature of Teff ≅ 680 C. We also proposed the model describing the dynamic equilibrium between dissolution and precipitation in HPT. Assuming that HPT fixes the composition at matrix-precipitate interfaces, we show that HPT-enhanced diffusive transport of species is the process likely controlling the observed steady-state composition in the matrix and precipitate average diameter. (authors)
[en] Plasticity in zirconium alloys is mainly controlled by the interaction of 1/3 (12-bar10) screw dislocations with oxygen atoms in interstitial octahedral sites of the hexagonal close-packed lattice. This process is studied here using ab initio calculations based on the density functional theory. The atomic simulations show that a strong repulsion exists only when the O atoms lie in the dislocation core and belong to the prismatic dislocation habit plane. This is a consequence of the destruction of the octahedral sites by the stacking fault arising from the dislocation dissociation. Because of the repulsion, the dislocation partially cross-slips to an adjacent prismatic plane, in agreement with experiments where the lattice friction on screw dislocations in Zr-O alloys has been attributed to the presence of jogs on the dislocations due to local cross-slip. (authors)
[en] Developing predictive models for the microstructure evolution of materials requires an accurate description of the point defects fluxes to the different sinks, such as dislocations, grain boundaries and cavities. This work aims at improving the evaluation of sink strengths of dislocations and cavities using object kinetic Monte-Carlo simulations parametrized with density functional theory calculations. The present accurate description of point defects migration enables quantitative assessment of the influence of the point defects anisotropy at saddle point. The results in aluminum show that the anisotropy at saddle point has a large influence on sink strengths. In particular, this anisotropy leads to the cavity being a biased sink. These results are explained by the analysis of the point defect trajectories to the sinks, which are shown to be strongly affected by the saddle point anisotropy. (authors)
[en] Sigma-phase precipitation in a 316Nb 'stabilized' austenitic stainless steel was studied through complementary CALPHAD-based and dedicated experimental investigations. Thermo-kinetic calculations performed using Thermo-Calc (with the DICTRA module) and MatCalc software showed that the sigma phase (σ) precipitated directly at γ-austenite grain boundaries (GB) via a common solid-state reaction when carbon and nitrogen contents fell below a critical threshold. Residual δ ferrite was found to be more susceptible to σ-phase precipitation; this type of precipitation occurred via two mechanisms that depended on the concentration profiles of δ-ferrite stabilizing elements induced by previous thermomechanical processing: direct σ precipitation (δ → σ) along the periphery of δ islands followed by a eutectoid decomposition (δ → σ + γ_2) within these islands. Both simulations and experiments revealed that the σ phase at γ GB contained higher amounts of Mo and Ni, while σ within δ ferrite possessed higher contents of Fe and Cr. Finally, the simulated time-temperature-precipitation diagrams for the σ phase in residual δ ferrite were found to be in very good agreement with the experimental ones and comparable to those observed in duplex stainless steels. (authors)