The development of oxide dispersion strengthened ferrous alloys has shown that microstructures designed for excellent irradiation resistance and thermal stability ideally contain stable nanoscale precipitates and dislocation sinks. Based upon this understanding, the microstructures of conventionally manufactured ferritic and ferritic-martensitic steels can be designed to include controlled volume fractions of fine, stable precipitates and dislocation sinks via specific alloying and processing paths. The concepts proposed here are categorized as advanced high-Cr ferritic-martensitic (AHCr-FM) and novel tailored precipitate ferritic (TPF) steels, which have the potential to improve the in-reactor performance of conventionally manufactured alloys. AHCr-FM steels have modified alloy content relative to current reactor materials (such as alloy NF616/P92) to maximize desirable precipitates and control phase stability. TPF steels are designed to incorporate nickel aluminides, in addition to microalloy carbides, in a ferritic matrix to produce fine precipitate arrays with good thermal stability. Both alloying concepts may also benefit from thermomechanical processing to establish dislocation sinks and modify phase transformation behaviors. Alloying and processing paths toward designed microstructures are discussed for both AHCr-FM and TPF material classes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)