Helium sequestration at nanoparticle-matrix interfaces in helium + heavy ion irradiated nanostructured ferritic alloys

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Abstract

We irradiated four ferritic alloys with energetic Fe and He ions: one castable nanostructured alloy (CNA) containing Ti-W-Ta-carbides, and three nanostructured ferritic alloys (NFAs). The NFAs were: 9Cr containing Y-Ti-O nanoclusters, and two Fe-12Cr-5Al NFAs containing Y-Zr-O or Y-Hf-O clusters. All four were subjected to simultaneous dual-beam Fe + He ion implantation (650 °C, ∼50 dpa, ∼15 appm He/dpa), simulating fusion-reactor conditions. Examination using scanning/transmission electron microscopy (STEM) revealed high-number-density helium bubbles of ∼8 nm, ∼1021 m−3 (CNA), and of ∼3 nm, 1023 m−3 (NFAs). STEM combined with multivariate statistical analysis data mining suggests that the precipitate-matrix interfaces in all alloys survived ∼50 dpa at 650 °C and serve as effective helium trapping sites. All alloys appear viable structural material candidates for fusion or advanced fission energy systems. Among these developmental alloys the NFAs appear to sequester the helium into smaller bubbles and away from the grain boundaries more effectively than the early-generation CNA.

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Parish, C. M., Unocic, K. A., Tan, L., Zinkle, S. J., Kondo, S., Snead, L. L., … Katoh, Y. (2017). Helium sequestration at nanoparticle-matrix interfaces in helium + heavy ion irradiated nanostructured ferritic alloys. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 483, 21–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2016.10.038

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