Influence of He implantation on the fatigue properties of stainless steel under different atmospheric conditions

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Abstract

The influence of He on the fatigue properties of stainless steel was investigated using α-particle implantation. The He influence was compared for different external atmospheres (inert, corrosive), various fatigue temperatures (400-750°C), implantation temperatures (400-950°C), He doses (5-3000 ppm), strain amplitudes (0.5-3%) and fatigue frequencies (0.02-8 Hz). In situ and post-implantation fatigue testing showed that the effect of He implantation is very similar in both cases. The effect of He is small if the fatigue temperature is ≤ 600°C. In these cases the fracture mode remains transgranular and only small reductions of the fatigue life (less than a factor of 2) are observed upon He implantation. For higher fatigue temperatures the He causes a transition from a transgranular to an intergranular fracture mode associated with rather dramatic reductions of the fatigue life. It was shown that this fracture mode must be attributed to a growth of He bubbles at the grain boundaries. The growth is probably achieved by condensation of thermal vacancies, the flux of which is controlled by the external stresses and by grain-boundary diffusion. It was found that the size of the lifetime reduction increases with the He dose and the implantation temperature, because more He reaches the grain boundaries. The lifetime depends more strongly on the strain amplitude for irradiated samples. The lifetime for irradiated samples does not depend on the external atmosphere, in contrast to unirradiated samples which have an order of magnitude longer life in the clean atmosphere. In contrast to failure in a transgranular mode, the number of fatigue cycles until feature, Nf{hook}, is found to decrease with the fatigue frequency in the case of intergranular mode. The temperature above which intergranular fracture occurs (usually above 700°C) is affected by the He dose and the fatigue frequency. For high doses of ≈ 1000 ppm He and small frequencies of ≈0.02 Hz, the intergranular mode is observed as low as 600°C. © 1981.

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Sonnenberg, K., Antesberger, G., & Brown, B. (1981). Influence of He implantation on the fatigue properties of stainless steel under different atmospheric conditions. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 102(3), 333–345. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-3115(81)90501-8

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