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Intergranular stress corrosion cracking of ion irradiated 304L stainless steel in PWR environment

Gupta, Jyoti. Intergranular stress corrosion cracking of ion irradiated 304L stainless steel in PWR environment. PhD, Science et Génie des Matériaux, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2016

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IASCC is irradiation – assisted enhancement of intergranular stress corrosion cracking susceptibility of austenitic stainless steel. It is a complex degrading phenomenon which can have a significant influence on maintenance time and cost of PWRs’ core internals and hence, is an issue of concern. Recent studies have proposed using ion irradiation (to be specific, proton irradiation) as an alternative of neutron irradiation to improve the current understanding of the mechanism. The objective of this study was to investigate the cracking susceptibility of irradiated SA 304L and factors contributing to cracking, using two different ion irradiations; iron and proton irradiations. Both resulted in generation of point defects in the microstructure and thereby causing hardening of the SA 304L. Material (unirradiated and iron irradiated) showed no susceptibility to intergranular cracking on subjection to SSRT with a strain rate of 5 × 10-8 s-1 up to 4 % plastic strain in inert environment. But, irradiation (iron and proton) was found to increase intergranular cracking severity of material on subjection to SSRT in simulated PWR primary water environment at 340 °C. Correlation between the cracking susceptibility and degree of localization was studied. Impact of iron irradiation on bulk oxidation of SA 304L was studied as well by conducting an oxidation test for 360 h in simulated PWR environment at 340 °C. The findings of this study indicate that the intergranular cracking of 304L stainless steel in PWR environment can be studied using Fe irradiation despite its small penetration depth in material. Furthermore, it has been shown that the cracking was similar in both iron and proton irradiated samples despite different degrees of localization. Lastly, on establishing iron irradiation as a successful tool, it was used to study the impact of surface finish and strain paths on intergranular cracking susceptibility of the material.

Item Type:PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Research Director:
Andrieu, Eric and Laffont-Dantras, Lydia
Deposited On:09 Jun 2016 09:51

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